Set in the early 1900’s British India and England, ‘Ramanujan’ revolves around the life and times of the mathematical prodigy, Srinivasa Ramanujan. Directed by the award-winning director of ‘Mogha Mul’, ‘Bharati’ and ‘Periyar’, Gnana Rajasekaran, the film is being made simultaneously in English and Tamil.
‘Ramanujan’ tells the human story of an Indian mathematician who languished in the grip of a disdainful society and a scornful academia. It means to demonstrate the genius that enabled him to overcome the poverty of his material circumstances and the indifference of his peers to emerge and be recognized as a great savant by the world. The adverse social conditions in South India at the time saw Ramanujan’s mathematical capabilities dismissed by traditional fellow Indians, pushing him to take up employment as a clerk and subsist on meager wages. It was an Englishman, Professor G. H. Hardy, who recognized Ramanujan’s genius while the Indian academia shunned him. Professor Hardy took the native clerk to Cambridge, where he facilitated Ramanujan’s research in mathematics. In England, Ramanujan’s quintessential contribution to mathematics got him elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Extensively researched by the screenwriter and director, Gnana Rajasekaran, the film intends to establish the authentic life story and achievements of Ramanujan. The film has been shot at the appropriate historic locations such as Kumbakonam: where Ramanujan was brought up and attended college, Namakkal: the abode of Ramanujan’s family deity, Madras: where Ramanujan worked at the Port Trust Office, Cambridge and London: where Ramanujan was finally recognized as a mathematician of the highest class.
Veteran Indian art director, P. Krishnamurthy, has worked on recreating the panorama of the early twentieth century India, while British production designer Caroline Story has brought alive England of that period. The costume designer, Sakunthala Rajasekaran, has ensured the accuracy of the attires of the age. Intricate details ranging from antique brass vessels, coins and books to the topknots and jewellery of the Kumbakonam brahmins and attires of the British elite have all been scrutinized by the art and costume departments. With expert cinematographer Sunny Joseph, who has worked on award-winning Bengali and English films, behind the camera, reputed and accomplished ace editor B. Lenin, well-known composer Ramesh Vinayagam and sound designer Lakshmi Narayanan as part of the team, and with an international crew including English-Australian scriptwriters such as Roxane de Rouen, British-Pakistani line producers and American technicians, ‘Ramanujan’ also includes a large British cast.
Gemini Ganesan’s grandson and Rekha’s nephew, Abhinay Vaddi, dons the role of Ramanujan, and award-winning Malayali actress, Bhama, acts as Ramanujan’s wife, Janaki. The acclaimed actress Suhasini Maniratinam would play the important role of Komalatammal, Ramanujan’s strong-willed mother. The established British stage and screen actor, Kevin McGowan, plays Prof. Hardy. Michael Lieber plays Littlewood. Other British actors in vital roles include Richard Walsh as Sir Francis Spring, Cloudia Swann as Ms. Bourne and Lizzie Bourne as Gertrude Hardy. Further, Indian actors such as Abbhas, Nizalgal Ravi, Delhi Ganesh, Y. G. Mahendran and Sharath Babu have also been cast in crucial roles in the film.