The Man Who Knew Infinity

Synopsis: In the 1910s, Srinivasa Ramanujan is a man of boundless intelligence that even the abject poverty of his home in Madras, India, cannot crush. Eventually, his stellar intelligence in mathematics and his boundless confidence in both attract the attention of the noted British mathematics professor, G.H. Hardy, who invites him to further develop his computations at Trinity College at Cambridge. Forced to leave his young wife, Janaki, behind, Ramanujan finds himself in a land where both his largely intuitive mathematical theories and his cultural values run headlong into both the stringent academic requirements of his school and mentor and the prejudiced realities of a Britain heading into World War One. Facing this with a family back home determined to keep him from his wife and his own declining health, Ramanujan joins with Hardy in a mutual struggle that would define Ramanujan as one of India's greatest modern scholars who broke more than one barrier in his worlds.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Matt Brown
Production: Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min


I have to form myself,

as I have never really formed before,

and try to help you

to form some sort of reasoned estimate

of the most romantic figure

in the recent history of mathematics.

Ramanujan was an Indian,

and I suppose

that it is always a little difficult

for an Englishman and an Indian

to understand one another properly.

I owe more to him

than to anyone else in the world,

and my association with him

is the one romantic incident of my life.



He was, in a way, my discovery.

I did not invent him.

Like other great men, he invented himself.

The difficulty for me, then,

is not that I do not know

enough about him,

but that I know and feel too much.




You can also see I've been conducting

my own mathematical researches.

You've no degree.

You're unemployable.

I'll write you

a recommendation. Maybe someone...

With all due respect, sir,

I have recommendations.

What I need is a job.

Please. I have a wife.

You people are all the same.

Now get out. Now!

I'm doomed, like Galileo.

He died in poverty, you know.

(CHUCKLES) At least

you hold yourself in good esteem.

Whatever is

written in your fate will happen.

You can't change that.

My fate is to have a wife

who lives with my mother

while I sleep here with you all because

the British think I'm a raving lunatic.


As do we Indians.


Where did you get your degree?

I don't have one.

- How many do you have?

- None.

- Who else have you shown this to?

- Everyone.

The British. The Indians.

They all send me to someone else.

I can offer you a job,

but your evenings will have to be spent

in helping me understand this.

A job?

- Do we have an agreement?

- Yes.

- Most certainly, sir.

- Good.

Send for your wife so you can be together.

And put this on.

Follow me.

Sir Francis, here are today's ledgers.

And our new clerk.

Narayana, how long have you worked for me?

Since I helped to design

the bridge on the Godavari,

which now requires me to call you "Sir".

Sir Francis.

This man looks as if

he lives on the streets.

- Get him out of here.

Sir, please.

Forgive my appearance,

but I really am

quite exceptional with numbers.

What you might see now is ordinary glass,

I promise you will

soon remain to see a diamond.



Your accounts had

better be half as polished as your ego.


Amma, this is it.

It's the best I could do for now.

It's a home.


Where is the kitchen?

It's inside.


From the wedding.

Don't worry. I will sleep on the floor.

I'm used to it.

I have to go back to work now.

Why aren't you using the abacus?

It was faster in my head.



If Sir Francis comes here,

at least pretend to use this.


I see you've been working

on your own formulas.

Paper is a precious commodity here.

You'll find

plenty of packing down at the docks.

Thank you, sir.

See you tonight.


we need to seek an audience

with someone who really

understands all this.

I've been to everyone in Madras.



Did you know that the name

derives from Mandarajya?

"The realm of the stupid."

There's a whole world out there.

And there's England.

You don't come home.

It is I who

owe the apology for keeping him.

I think it's

enough for tonight, Ramanujan.

I'm sorry.

I was told

you love numbers more than people.


Not you.

Perhaps we can start over.

I am Ramanujan.

And I am your wife.

Go ahead. You can look.


What does it all do?

It's like a painting, I think.

Only imagine it

is with colors you cannot see.


What good is that?


Not much for you, I'm afraid.

But for me it is everything.

Maybe there is someone else who can

see and understand it as well.

And for them it will be important.

Have you met them?

No. Not yet.

I want to understand

more than just colors I can't see.

What do you see?

- Sand.

- Yes.

Imagine, if we could

look so closely, we could see each grain,

each particle.

You see, there are...

There are patterns in everything.

The color in light.

The reflections on water.

In maths, these patterns reveal themselves

in the most incredible form.

It's quite beautiful.


You should sleep in the bed.

- Amma.

- Hmm?

I have made a friend in my boss.

He's going to find somebody

to understand my work outside Madras.

Outside India.

That is an honor.

What nonsense are you talking?

Amma, he sees something in me.

He surely sees enough of you.

You're never here at home.

(specks Tamil)

It is forbidden to cross the seas.


Ramanujan, listen to me.

This work is

too important to die with you.

It must be published.

If you, an Indian,

are at the pinnacle with these formulas,

then the British,

even while they subjugate us,

must recognize that our

brightest matches theirs.

Anna, please.

I can't.

You have been

alone in your mind your whole life.

Now other people

have the chance to understand you.

Not just your Namagiri.


All I do is imagine.

These first two letters...



And who's this?

Oh, that's, er...

That's Hardy. He's a real pot stirrer.

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Matt Brown

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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