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One Movie Punch

Nov 24, 2018

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to Takeover Tuesday! Except it’s on Saturday. You know, because of the fire thing. And with fire comes smoke. A lot of it. So much they were showing all the billowing clouds of it on the news channels, most of which I was avoiding for my own sanity. I actually spent a while working on my writing, taking inspiration from the chaos of the last couple of days, trying to focus on what I could. It was hot in that motor home after getting cleaned up, and while working, I started to smell it. Just faintly, on the wind, after changing direction and bringing relief from the heat, it was also bringing the smoke. You could see it drifting into the entire city from our vantage point, just slightly up on the hills around the city. So much for writing. We gathered up our things from the motor home, then headed inside the house with the family that was sheltering us. The wind picked up more and more, finally turning that faint odor into the same charred smell from our way out of our neighborhood. Home suddenly seemed like a long way away.

More on my adventures during the fire in the next episode. If you want to hear the full story, go back to my review for “Outlaw King” (Episode #314) and get caught up. Let me know you’re listening by sharing this episode with #WelcomeBackOMP, and I will add you to the growing list of people to thank.

Folks like today’s guest, Mike Bales, aka the Angry Video Guy, someone I met during the 2017 #DLMChallenge when we were attempting to watch 365 movies in 365 days. He used to host a public access show about movies, and is a survivor from the times of video stores. He also set a new record for having a Takeover Tuesday podcast ready, well ahead of schedule, and well before such trivial things as wildfire evacuations. I had to pull the episode, obviously, given our situation, and he was very understanding, and contrary to his namesake, not the least bit angry. Catch him on Twitter @bales1181 and beware if he’s ever happy. You wouldn’t like him when he’s happy.

Mike, thanks for your patience as we get the podcast back up and running. Here’s a quick promo with the review to follow. 

Hi there! This is Mike Bales, your Angry Video Guy. Passionate movie watcher that has worked in various video stores until the inevitable demise due to DVDs, and then Netflix. Started the #DLMChallenge last year and hit my goal of 365 movies. This year I have not been as successful but continue to watch way too many movies. I love being able to track what I watch, tweet about and start up the conversation with other movie lovers.

Today’s movie is “The Man Who Knew Infinity” (2015), the film directed by Matthew Brown and written by Matthew Brown. The movie takes place in 1913 when Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) fights against everyone to ensure that the numbers in his head make it on to the paper to be published for the world to see.  He is befriended by G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons) who will do everything he can to challenge him on how to show English fellows that he deserves to stand next to them as an equal.

Spoilers ahead.

The movie opens up to Hardy wishing that he had known earlier to take down his guard and open up to new possibilities of genius.  From there, we go to Ramanujan seeking a job that will help him not only survive, but show everyone how much he knows, until he finds a man in his hometown that gets it. The push begins to show him there is a bigger world outside of Madras, which he is scared to leave as he is told it is forbidden.  Knowing that everything inside his head could not die, he pushes forward to leave his home for Trinity College at Cambridge. The relationship that we only get to see a little glimpse between him and his wife, shows us an awkward man that doesn’t know how to communicate outside of numbers.  I enjoyed his line when he is showing his wife one of his notebooks which she doesn’t understand but he talks about in a way that brings him joyful emotion in describing numbers as a painting with colors you cannot see.

The welcome committee was not fully there when he arrived at Cambridge, but, he continued to fight and humble himself with the mere thought that he was there, and the opportunity will come. After constant pushback from fear of his intelligence, or that he was unable to provide proofs in their specific ways, he continued to help show them how he knows these things.

Dev Patel has played many roles against great odds, such as “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Lion”. He may not have completely lived up to these two films, but he did still deliver, while combating with Jeremy Irons and winning him over.  I wonder if the pacing of the film or the lack of push moments that could have brought this to the level that should have been delivered at.

“The Man Who Knew Infinity” (2015) is a film that shows us how genius always will be challenged with frustration, and it takes time for people to see it. As much as people wants proof, proof doesn’t always need to be provided.

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

Metacritic: 56%

One Movie Punch: 7.0/10

“The Man Who Knew Infinity“ (2015) is rated PG-13 and is currently streaming.

This is your Angry Video Guy, Mike Bales, and you can follow me on Twitter @Bales1181 for some entertaining reviews and movie banter.