Shakuntala Devi is out July 31 on Amazon Prime Video. Vidya Balan announced the release date of her upcoming biographical movie in a one-minute video on Thursday, which traded on the title character’s — Shakuntala Devi (Balan) — popularity as a mental calculator that earned her the nickname of “human computer”. Written and co-directed by Anu Menon — best known for directing 2015’s Waiting, and Four More Shots Please! season 1 — Shakuntala Devi also stars Jisshu Sengupta (Mahaprabhu) as Shakuntala’s husband Paritosh Banerji, Sanya Malhotra (Dangal) as Shankuntala’s daughter Anupama Banerji, and Amit Sadh (Breathe) as Anupama’s husband Ajay.
Originally slated to open in May in theatres, Shakuntala Devi is now a straight-to-streaming première — a second for Amazon in India after the Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmaan Khurrana-led Gulabo Sitabo in June — thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which continues to keep cinema halls shut across India. Overall, Shakuntala Devi will be the third major Bollywood movie to skip theatres entirely and release directly on a streaming service. Dil Bechara — the adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars that marks the final posthumous appearance of Sushant Singh Rajput — will be the second on July 24.
Born in 1929 British India in the erstwhile Mysore State, Shakuntala Devi’s arithmetic abilities were discovered at the tender age of three, as her father — who worked at a circus — taught her a card trick. Soon after, Devi went on road shows with her father to demonstrate said abilities. After she moved to London in 1944, that turned into world tours, including across Europe in 1950 and New York in 1976. Devi was inducted into the 1982 Guinness Book of Records after she multiplied two random 13-digit numbers in 28 seconds. Devi was also an LGBTQ advocate. She died at the age of 83 in Bangalore in 2013.
Menon co-wrote Shakuntala Devi with newcomer Nayanika Mahtani and dialogue writer Ishita Moitra (Four More Shots Please!). Shakuntala Devi is a production of Sony Pictures Networks India and Abundantia Entertainment. The latter’s founder and CEO Vikram Malhotra served as a producer, alongside Seher Latif and Shivani Saran as executive producers.
Shakuntala Devi is out July 31 on Amazon Prime Video worldwide.
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