This film tells the remarkable true story of Srinivasa Ramanujan (played by Dev Patel), who grew up in grinding poverty in Tamil Nadu at the end of the 19th century but proved to have a remarkable gift for numbers and mathematics. Even as a 15 year old he developed his own theorems in number theory, despite hardly any formal education. At 16 he obtained a library book on mathematics and studied it in depth, continuing his researches in his notebooks. He never completed a degree but managed to secure a job in a tax department whose boss happened to be interested in mathematics.
There is a lot of promise in this movie on paper – directed by Neil Blomkamp, with Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman on board, it may seem like this movie borrows a bit from movies Robocop or even Short Circuit, but it is trying to be quite a different kind of movie.