If you think Vidya Balan starrer Shakuntala Devi is the first film to introduce you to the life and work of a mathematician, you are mistaken. The lives of maths geniuses have enticed filmmakers over the years, and there are some films that you can stream online.
A Beautiful Mind: Netflix
Directed by Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind is inspired by the life of genius mathematician and Nobel prize winner, John Nash. Nash accepts secret work in cryptography (code-breaking), but in doing so, his personal life and mental well-being take a nightmarish turn. His work on game theory in mathematics proved to be a game-changer, but his genius was overshadowed by schizophrenia. A Beautiful Mind went on to win four Academy Awards including Best Picture.
The Man Who Knew Infinity: YouTube
The 2015 film The Man Who Knew Infinity is based on the life of Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar. Growing up in a poor Brahmin family in Madras, Ramanujan, played by Dev Patel, gets admission in Cambridge University during World War I. His lack of formal education and training makes everyone doubt his skills and he is also reluctant in proving his theories. But, his professor G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons) recognises his talent, and it leads to several mathematical breakthroughs.
The Imitation Game: Netflix
Morten Tyldum directorial The Imitation Game is a celebration of mathematician, computer scientist, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist Alan Turing’s extraordinary achievements. The biographical drama focuses on Turing’s heroics in World War II, when he worked for the British intelligence service and played a key role in breaking the German Enigma code. Benedict Cumberbatch portrayal of Turing won him several accolades, and he was nominated for an Oscar as well. The film also starred Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Charles Dance.