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Vidya Balan to play mathematics wizard Shakuntala Devi in her next film

Scheduled to go on floors later this year, the film is eyeing a summer 2020 release.

SNS | New Delhi |

Production house Abundantia Entertainment led by Vikram Malhotra announced on Wednesday that it would be producing a film on the math genius, Shakuntala Devi. The role of the mathematical wizard will be played by versatile actor Vidya Balan.

Shakuntala Devi was known for her ability to make incredibly swift calculations, which earned her the moniker of ‘Human computer’. Her genius was first discovered when she was only 5, when she solved a math problem for 18-year-old students. Though she never received any formal education, her talent for numbers also earned her a place in the 1982 edition of The Guinness Book of World Records.

Shakuntala Devi has donned many hats over the years. Apart from her love for mathematics, she was also an astrologer and novelist. She travelled across the world demonstrating her mathematical prowess by associating with colleges, theatres, radio and television. Her book, The World of Homosexuals, is also considered to be the first study of homosexuality in India.

The Shakuntala Devi film will be helmed by London, Paris, New York and Amazon Prime’s Four More Shots Please! director Anu Menon.

Menon has also written the film along with Nayanika Mahtani while Ishita Moitra has done the dialogues for the film.

A thrilled Vidya Balan shared: “I am extremely excited to play the human computer, Shakuntala Devi, on the big screen. She was truly someone who embraced her individuality, had a strong feminist voice and braved many a naysayer to reach the pinnacle of success. But what truly fascinates me is that you wouldn’t normally associate a fun person with Math…and she completely turns that perception on its head. I am thrilled that Vikram, who I’ve worked with on Kahaani, and his team are producing the film. Vikram (Malhotra), Anu (Menon) and I are proud to bring to life the story of one of the most inspiring women of this country. How incredible that ‘The Math Genius’, ‘The Human Computer’, was a small-town Indian girl, who took the world by storm.”

“Abundantia has always been at the forefront of supporting progressive and insightful stories. I am delighted that we are extending our content philosophy further with this exciting story on the life and times of Shakuntala Devi. I am confident that this compelling story will resonate strongly with fans of all ages. I’m delighted to collaborate with Vidya (Balan) once again. Her versatility as a performer is unmatched and the passion that she has brought to this film is amazing! I am equally delighted to partner with Anu Menon, who has woven an entertaining and evocative narrative. With this film, we hope to take Abundantia’s high-quality, innovative and engaging story-telling to the next level,” added Vikram Malhotra.

While the director is excited to present the extraordinary story of a woman who lived far ahead of her times, Menon also shared that to capture the spirit of the woman like Shakuntala on screen would be nothing short of a memorable experience, hoping that the team would be able to do justice to the life of the genius.

Scheduled to go on floors later this year, the film is eyeing a summer 2020 release.