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Matthew Brown
Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Stephen Fry, Malcolm Sinclair, Toby Jones
Writing Credits:
Matthew Brown

The story of the life and academic career of pioneering Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and his friendship with his mentor, Professor GH Hardy.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 108 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 8/23/2016

• None


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Man Who Knew Infinity [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 8, 2016)

Dev Patel came to prominence as the lead in 2008’s breakout hit Slumdog Millionaire. Since that flick brought him fame, Patel has enjoyed a good career, but almost always as a supporting character.

This changes with 2016’s The Man Who Knew Infinity. Based on Robert Canigel’s 1991 biography, the film takes us to the early 20th century and introduces us to Srinivasa Ramanujan (Patel), a mathematical genius who lives in poverty in India.

Srinivasa’s intelligence proves too strong to be kept down, though, and he finds himself with an excellent opportunity. British math professor GH Hardy (Jeremy Irons) invites Srinivasa to develop his talents at Trinity College in Cambridge. We follow Srinivasa’s path and the challenges that come along the way.

At the very least, a movie like Infinity seems well-meaning. It wants to educate the audience about an important figure little-known to the general public, and it does so in an unfailingly earnest, stolid manner.

All of which makes Infinity tough to criticize – but also difficult to embrace. A film such as this comes with few obvious flaws but as depicted here, Srinivasa’s tale fails to become more than generically inspirational.

Infinity touches all the usual bases. We get a protagonist who has to overcome long odds – poverty, racism, etc. – to succeed, and he gets the standard mentor who starts skeptical but eventually embraces the outsider. Obstacles overcome, accomplishments achieved, emotion generated – all what we anticipate from this kind of story.

Everything about Infinity seems perfectly professional. In addition to Patel and Irons, the film boasts a solid supporting cast with actors like Toby Jones and Stephen Fry. All do positive work, and the movie seems executed in a logical, concise manner.

So why does the end result leave me moderately cold? As much as I want to embrace Infinity, the movie just lacks real inspiration. It almost seems as though it came assembled by a committee, as it checks off boxes and fails to find the heart of its subject.

That essential absence of real emotion leaves Infinity as an average movie. On the surface, it should be a moving, involving effort, but it never prompts the viewer to strongly invest in the subject matter. This makes it a watchable film that doesn’t veer toward greatness.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus F

The Man Who Knew Infinity appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. I felt pleased with this strong transfer.

Overall sharpness worked fine. A smidgen of softness crept into a handful of elements, but those instances didn’t trouble me. Instead, the majority of the flick provided solid delineation. The image lacked shimmering or jaggies, and no edge haloes materialized. As one would expect from a brand-new movie, print defects failed to mar the picture.

In terms of palette, Infinity opted for a mix of light amber and mild teal. Those choices seemed unimaginative but the Blu-ray reproduced them well enough. Blacks came across as dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. Overall, the transfer worked well.

No one anticipates a dynamic soundscape from a character piece like Infinity, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track matched my expectations. Music used the various channels well to become an active partner, and effects added a bit of life to the proceedings. Street/seaside scenes broadened sonic horizons to a minor degree, as they brought us atmospheric information. A very short war scene also blasted the speakers briefly. Nothing I’d call memorable occurred, though.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech remained concise and crisp, with no edginess or related concerns. Music fared best of all, as the score appeared peppy and full. Effects lacked much prominence, but they remained accurate and dynamic enough. This became a “B-” mix.

No extras appear here – not even previews!

As a biopic, The Man Who Knew Infinity provides a perfectly watchable effort but no more than that. Though it gives us an interesting subject, it never manages to seem especially involving or dramatic. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture as well as acceptable audio and no supplements. I can’t complain about the movie but it simply fails to move me.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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