The Man Who Knew Infinity Official

HARDY: I have to form myself,
as I have never really formed before,
and try to help you
to form some sort of reasoned estimate
of the most romantic figure
in the recent history of mathematics.
Ramanujan was an Indian,
and I suppose
that it is always a little difficult
for an Englishman and an Indian
to understand one another properly.
I owe more to him
than to anyone else in the world,
and my association with him
is the one romantic incident of my life.
He was, in a way, my discovery.
I did not invent him.
Like other great men, he invented himself.
The difficulty for me, then,
is not that I do not know
enough about him,
but that I know and feel too much.
You can also see I've been conducting
my own mathematical researches.
MAN: You've no degree.
You're unemployable.
I'll write you
a recommendation. Maybe someone...
With all due respect, sir,
I have recommendations.
What I need is a job.
Please. I have a wife.
You people are all the same.
Now get out. Now!
I'm doomed, like Galileo.
He died in poverty, you know.
(CHUCKLES) At least
you hold yourself in good esteem.
Whatever is
written in your fate will happen.
You can't change that.
My fate is to have a wife
who lives with my mother
while I sleep here with you all because
the British think I'm a raving lunatic.
As do we Indians.
MAN: Where did you get your degree?
RAMANUJAN: I don't have one.
- How many do you have?
- None.
- Who else have you shown this to?
- Everyone.
The British. The Indians.
They all send me to someone else.
I can offer you a job,
but your evenings will have to be spent
in helping me understand this.
A job?
- Do we have an agreement?
- Yes.
- Most certainly, sir.
- Good.
Send for your wife so you can be together.
And put this on.
Follow me.
Sir Francis, here are today's ledgers.
And our new clerk.
Narayana, how long have you worked for me?
Since I helped to design
the bridge on the Godavari,
which now requires me to call you "Sir".
Sir Francis.
This man looks as if
he lives on the streets.
- Get him out of here.
- RAMANUJAN: Sir, please.
Forgive my appearance,
but I really am
quite exceptional with numbers.
What you might see now is ordinary glass,
I promise you will
soon remain to see a diamond.
Your accounts had
better be half as polished as your ego.
RAMANUJAN: Amma, this is it.
It's the best I could do for now.
It's a home.
Where is the kitchen?
RAMANUJAN: It's inside.
From the wedding.
Don't worry. I will sleep on the floor.
I'm used to it.
I have to go back to work now.
NARAYANA: Why aren't you using the abacus?
It was faster in my head.
If Sir Francis comes here,
at least pretend to use this.
I see you've been working
on your own formulas.
Paper is a precious commodity here.
You'll find
plenty of packing down at the docks.
Thank you, sir.
See you tonight.
NARAYANA: Ramanujan,
we need to seek an audience
with someone who really
understands all this.
I've been to everyone in Madras.
Did you know that the name
derives from Mandarajya?
"The realm of the stupid."
There's a whole world out there.
And there's England.
You don't come home.
It is I who
owe the apology for keeping him.
I think it's
enough for tonight, Ramanujan.
I'm sorry.
I was told
you love numbers more than people.
Not you.
Perhaps we can start over.
I am Ramanujan.
And I am your wife.
Go ahead. You can look.
What does it all do?
It's like a painting, I think.
Only imagine it
is with colors you cannot see.
What good is that?
Not much for you, I'm afraid.
But for me it is everything.
Maybe there is someone else who can
see and understand it as well.
And for them it will be important.
Have you met them?
No. Not yet.
I want to understand
more than just colors I can't see.
What do you see?
- Sand.
- Yes.
Imagine, if we could
look so closely, we could see each grain,
each particle.
You see, there are...
There are patterns in everything.
The color in light.
The reflections on water.
In maths, these patterns reveal themselves
in the most incredible form.
It's quite beautiful.
You should sleep in the bed.
- Amma.
- Hmm?
I have made a friend in my boss.
He's going to find somebody
to understand my work outside Madras.
Outside India.
That is an honor.
What nonsense are you talking?
Amma, he sees something in me.
He surely sees enough of you.
You're never here at home.
Kanna, we are Brahmins.
It is forbidden to cross the seas.
NARAYANA: Ramanujan?
Ramanujan, listen to me.
This work is
too important to die with you.
It must be published.
If you, an Indian,
are at the pinnacle with these formulas,
then the British,
even while they subjugate us,
must recognize that our
brightest matches theirs.
Anna, please.
I can't.
You have been
alone in your mind your whole life.
Now other people
have the chance to understand you.
Not just your Namagiri.
All I do is imagine.
NARAYANA: These first two letters...
And who's this?
Oh, that's, er...
That's Hardy. He's a real pot stirrer.
You know, he single-handedly reformed
the entire Tripos examination system.
Turned over hundreds of years of history.
He's your man.
Trinity, eh?
Kings, prime ministers.
Isaac Newton. Byron.
Now perhaps even you.
Trouble on the Continent?
There will be.
We beat the Frogs by a goal at Twickenham.
I meant in the Balkans.
Ah, the Balkans.
You've got one
there seems particularly well traveled.
MAN: Do you think it's another hoax?
"I beg to introduce myself
as a clerk in the Accounts Department."
- What this time?
- Quite impressive, really.
Someone's gone to a lot of trouble.
A Hindu clerk!
And who claims he can give meaning
to the negative values
of the gamma function.
- Littlewood?
- Without doubt.
You know, Littlewood,
this year alone,
I've received correspondence
from those who profess
to prove the
prophetic wisdom of the Pyramids,
the revelations of the Elders of Zion,
and the cryptograms,
which Bacon supposedly buried
within the plays
of the so-called Shakespeare.
But a letter from
an ill-educated Indian clerk in Madras,
challenging assertions
I made in the tracts series,
really takes the biscuit.
Well, I have to say,
I've made similar assertions myself.
So you admit it?
But this was three years ago.
No, no, no. I'm talking about the letter.
Bloody brilliant, I thought.
I don't know where you got the postmark.
Almost had me fooled.
(STUTTERING) I simply don't know
what you're talking about.
Oh, come on. I'm not a complete idiot.
I don't know how to get this
into your thick skull,
but whatever it is you're talking about,
I'm simply not involved.
You've missed Hall.
Not hungry.
I tell you,
there is a war coming, no doubt about it.
Because we are being
led like mindless, spineless sheep
and no one bothers to question any of it.
It's coming, all right. You can smell it.
You're as paranoid as Hardy.
(SCOFFS) With all due respect, Bertie,
you couldn't hold a candle.
Littlewood, could I have a word?
Yes, of course.
LITTLEWOOD: Integrals.
Infinite series.
God knows what else.
Oh, excuse me.
I always forget
you don't believe in a supreme being.
If this chap turns out to be genuine, you
might have to reconsider.
He must be genuine.
Who would have
the imagination to invent all that?
Well, I'm rather
flattered you thought I did.
These two infinite series
are the more intriguing.
Yeah. They defeated me completely.
I've never seen anything like them.
Well, it's deceptive.
I'll wager the hypergeometric series.
Ha! Our great Littlewood, stumped.
He's Hobbs class, I'd say.
"Being inexperienced,
"I would very
highly value any advice you give me.
"Yours truly, S. Ramanujan."
What does the "S" stand for?
You can ask him yourself.
You intend to invite him here?
Well, no, no, no, no, no.
Much better, let him
rot away in his office in Madras, hmm?
- Hmm?
- Ah, Mr. Ramanujan.
There seems to be a letter for you.
Postmarked England. Cambridge, England.
From a Mr. G. H. Hardy.
I used to come here
and watch the boats leaving.
I always wondered what it would be
like to be on one of them.
I'm finally here
and you talk of crossing the sea?
It is forbidden for us.
I don't understand.
If you go, it will never be the same.
This is not Calcutta or Bombay.
No one will marry our
children. No one will even talk to us!
Then we will move to Calcutta or Bombay.
I don't want to talk to anyone but you.
Do you promise to bring me
as soon as you are able?
Then that is what we will do.
JANAKI: Are you sure you want me to do it?
Cut it.
You cut your hair.
What have you done?
Amma, I've decided to go to England.
Did you?
Or did she convince you?
So that both of you could
run away together? Huh?
This is all her doing.
She wants you all to herself.
Please look after
each other while I'm gone.
Never forget your prayers.
You cannot
pollute yourself with their food,
if you ever want to come back.
Don't forget me.
I could never.
I promise.
Well, off we go.
6,000 miles. Can you imagine?
I've known larger numbers.
Don't let it ruin
your big day with Gunga Din.
I'm sure it won't mean war.
(SCOFFS) All this Din, Din, Din.
Are you Ramanujan, by chance?
- Very much by chance.
- Ah.
- Hello. Sorry.
John Littlewood. Such a pleasure.
I was just on my way to meet you.
Well, shall we go together?
The intended effect.
Don't be intimidated.
Great knowledge often comes
from the humblest of origins.
Come along.
You see that sapling?
That's the very tree
under which Newton sat,
when the apple dropped on his
head and he invented gravity.
This way. We've been
anticipating your arrival for some time.
MAN: Well, I think it's criminal.
I mean, we bring these Indians over at
great expense and look what happens.
Yeah, well, it's not just
that this chap is Ramjin,
whatever his name is, is Indian.
After all, we do have
Indian students here.
Just not ones
with no education to speak of.
It's a disgrace.
Ramanujan is a special case.
Uh, why is that, exactly?
We've all read his letter.
There are no proofs.
Are we just supposed
to take him at his word?
You're to take him at mine.
Change, gentlemen.
It's a wonderful thing. Embrace it.
Take it as
a sign of respect to quieten this lot.
Is Mr. Hardy here?
I'm most excited to meet him.
He must be a very kind man
to bring me all this way.
Ah. Speak of the devil.
I'm Hardy.
Welcome to Trinity, Mr. Ramanujan.
Am I pronouncing that properly?
Yes, sir.
It's an honor, sir.
Thank you.
I very much look forward
to beginning our work.
So, tomorrow, 10:00, my rooms.
I look forward to it.
Did I say something wrong?
Don't worry.
I'll look out for you.
That's if you believe he actually exists.
You see, there's
speculation that Mr. Littlewood here
is merely a figment
of Hardy's imagination.
If he ever makes a mistake, he'll
have someone else to blame.
Ramanujan, Bertrand Russell.
Welcome to our little asylum.
Come along, come along.
MAN: Get off the grass!
It's for Fellows only!
Excuse me, sir.
Could you direct me to New Court?
- To Mr. Hardy?
- Through there.
You have something on your forehead.
Oh. Thank you.
The shoes, they hurt my feet.
LITTLEWOOD: Sorry I'm late.
You see, you do exist.
Ramanujan, we've decided that
for the good of everybody
you should attend some lectures.
But I'm here to publish.
Yes. All in good time, I hope.
But first we need proofs of your work.
It's really nothing to worry about.
It's simply a question of acquainting you
with the more formal methods
that will benefit our future work together.
I mean, we need a common language.
You wouldn't expect us to converse with
you in Tamil. (SNIGGERS)
No. But you expect me to speak English.
So, there will be
plenty of time for publishing.
I'm sorry, but with all
humility, how does anyone know that?
I don't want this to die with me.
(LAUGHS) I assure you it won't.
Thank you, sir.
But I have much more to share with you.
As I told you,
the letter only contained
a small sampling of my discoveries.
You'll see I have even found a function
which exactly represents the number
of prime numbers less than X
in the form of an infinite series.
- Exactly?
- Yes.
I thought if we were going to publish, it
should be something, uh, ground-breaking.
This is
most unexpected.
This will take a lifetime.
Maybe two.
It's quite alarming to see you so
thoroughly pleased with yourself.
Can't have anything to do
with these notebooks, can it?
You could spend the rest of your
life trying to prove half of it
and never have
another original idea of your own.
If I could prove, by logic,
that you are gonna die in five minutes,
I'd be sorry,
but my sorrow would be very much mitigated
by the pleasure in the proof.
Might get your wish granted with half
the Continent up in flames
and old men like that running the show.
No, you're just a bit sore because
you're worried he'll be
up there before you are.
Hmm, I doubt
a dark face will ever grace these walls,
let alone become a Fellow.
Ramanujan! Over here!
Come over, sit with us.
Welcome to Hall.
- I'm Chandra Mahalanobis.
- Hello.
And this is Andrew Hartley.
I am Ramanujan.
Well, everyone knows who you are, mate.
Word's out you've
taken on the prime number theorem.
It is quite extraordinary,
them bringing you here like this.
Such an honor.
There are other Indians?
A few. You're from the South?
Calcutta myself.
This must be quite a shock for you.
Truth is, you've more in
common than you think.
His father was a
schoolteacher. Not exactly Trinity stock.
Hardy's earned it on his own merits.
It's probably why he's taken to you.
Does he have a wife?
He's married to his work, as they say.
I suppose that means you now.
Stop. He's a vegetarian.
MAN: Very sorry.
Potatoes, sir.
How's that any better?
The potatoes are cooked in lard.
- I'm so sorry.
- Not at all.
But... But I think I will go.
I hope to see you soon.
Did you have a good dinner?
They make a fine mutton.
Yes, sir.
And your... Your rooms?
I want everything to be to your advantage
so that we can
be as productive as possible.
Thank you, sir.
Very nice paper.
Use it wisely.
Well, I'll say good night, then.
All right. Now...
You. Are you following this?
Yes, sir. Most excitedly.
But you don't
appear to be taking any notes.
Is there something
you'd like to contribute?
Well, come on, then.
Come on!
You'll need the chalk.
But I... I hadn't completed that proof.
How do you know?
I don't know. I just do.
Well, gentlemen,
it appears that our time is up.
Thank you for your attention.
Not you.
Little wog, let me tell you something.
You don't pull
a stunt like that in my class.
You don't belong
here and you can tell your Master Hardy
I said as much! Now, get out!
My sacred thread.
It's to help ward off evil spirits.
How did it work with Mr. Howard?
I'm sorry, sir.
I got too excited.
Not a word
often associated with his lectures.
How did you know that theorem?
It came to me.
Mr. Hardy, I don't understand
why we waste our time
doing all these proofs.
I have the formulas.
It's not that I can't see
what you've claimed.
It's that I'm not
sure that you know how you got there
or, indeed, that your claims are correct.
There are subtleties which...
But they are right, sir.
I have more important new ideas.
Yes, but intuition is not enough. It has
to be held accountable.
And a little humility would go a long way.
Why do you think they want us to fail?
Because I am Indian.
Well, yeah, there is that.
But also because of what we represent.
Now, Euler and Jacobi. Who are they?
Just names to you.
Euler was the most productive
mathematician of the 18th century.
Most of his work done after he was blind.
Jacobi, like you,
was snatched from obscurity,
and was almost as impressive as Euler.
Now, I think you are in their class.
What they had in common,
what I see in you, is a love of form.
It's all through your notebooks.
Let me ask you something.
Why do you do it, any of this?
Because I have to. I see it.
Like Euler. Form for its own sake.
An art unto itself.
And, like all art, it reflects truth.
It's the only truth I know. It's my church.
And you,
just as Mozart could
hear an entire symphony in his head,
you dance with numbers to infinity.
But this dance, this art,
does little to endear us
to certain factions
who see us as mere conjurors.
So if we are going
to challenge areas of mathematics
that are so well trod,
we cannot afford to be wrong.
I need you to attend your lectures,
don't offend your professors,
and keep doing your proofs,
otherwise this experiment of
ours will be doomed to failure.
Come with me.
I wanna show you something.
There are many ways to be honored in life.
For us, being
elected a Fellow is certainly one,
but in my humble opinion
to leave a legacy,
here at the Wren
after we're gone
is the greatest.
This library houses
the Epistles of Saint Paul,
the poems of Milton,
Morgan's Bible.
But in my estimation, as a man of numbers,
the pice de rsistance
is Newton's Principia Mathematica.
Now, just as Newton represents the
physical aspect of our work,
your notebooks represent the abstract.
Took a long time for Newton to be proved.
Which is why we
have an obligation to prove these.
And if we do, I believe that one day...
One day these notebooks
will find their place here.
Now, do you understand
what's at stake here?
JANAKI: I hope
you are taking care of yourself
and that Mr. Hardy is good to you.
Everyone here is so proud of you.
But most proud of all is me.
I spend every day missing you,
and waiting for your letter to tell me
I'm coming to be with you
across the ocean.
You are my everything.
I've discovered a new series.
Look, I'm not interested in a new series.
I thought I'd explained this.
I need your proofs.
We had an agreement.
Just, please, look at it, sir. It is true.
How do you know that?
Because it is written.
Written where, Ramanujan?
Now, take my coat, go home
and get properly dressed
before you freeze.
Sir, I've come a very long way to be here.
And you promised to help me publish.
Don't look at me like that.
It's for his own good.
You wouldn't think he's so bloody
smart by the way he dresses.
MAN: What the devil is that, anyway?
No, no, no, wait.
This even you could understand.
P of 4
equals 5.
Now, all that means is there are five
ways to add up the number 4.
1 + 1 + 1 + 1,
3 + 1,
2 + 1 + 1,
2 + 2,
and 4.
Seems simple enough.
Yeah. So it does.
But when you raise the number of P to 100,
there are 204,226
different combinations.
Major MacMahon
did it by hand. Took him weeks.
And now he thinks
he can figure out a formula.
Plug in the number, any number,
and out comes
the number of partitions. Like magic.
I take it you have tried
to crack this one before?
It's considered impossible. Unsolvable.
A bloody rabbit hole
mystery of the universe.
Until now?
"Din! Din! Din! Gunga Din."
So, um...
Using the divergence theorem,
what is the flux
of F through S here?
What on earth's he doing?
- Proofs. Yeah.
- Proofs?
You should let him run, Hardy.
You shouldn't stifle him.
He's gone to the cricket.
Just, uh, follow the umbrella.
Mr. Hardy!
Mr. Hardy.
Oh, I've been over those proofs of yours,
if you can call them that, very carefully.
And I've marked where you're missing steps
and where you've made mistakes.
There's much more I could say, but
that's where you should begin.
Listen, I'm hard on you
for your own benefit.
So that you can be published.
But, sir, you can publish the notebooks
and my prime number theorem.
You've had them since I arrived.
There is nothing I'd like more.
But, if I was to publish them
in their present state,
I'd be sent to the lunatic asylum.
You don't understand. These...
I don't think about this
the same way you do.
These steps you want, what you want,
I do not know how to do.
Well, you can just begin
by trying your best
and see if you don't surprise yourself.
Sir, do you know something I don't?
Apparently not.
Oh, no, God and I
don't see exactly eye to eye.
So if I prepare for rain, then it won't.
So far, so good.
I'm Hardy and I'm spending the
afternoon in the Wren Library.
Now we're sure
to have sunshine. (CHUCKLES)
You see, I'm what you call an atheist.
No, sir. You believe in God.
You just don't think He likes you.
Oh, really?
I wasn't gonna...
Give you this just yet,
but I took the liberty of doing some of
your proofs myself.
Just to show you
what together we can achieve.
You've been published.
Mr. Hardy, thank you!
Thank you, sir!
It is with great pride
that today all of us have shared
the publication of my son's article
in the London Mathematical Society.
Such a big thing.
A very prestigious society.
So how really is the little genius?
Don't pay attention to her.
She's not proud enough
of his achievements. Huh?
- MAN: Ramanujan?
Wake up. It just
came over the wire. We're at war.
- Here?
- No, silly, Belgium.
Now, come on! The King's arriving!
MEN: God save the King!
Bloody jingoes.
Bertie's asked me to help him
with his Union of
Democratic Control or something.
Hmm, agitating already?
Well, I received a letter from the
War Office this morning.
Seems they need
some assistance with ballistics.
- Ballistics? You?
- I know.
I did try to explain,
but they're rather a dense lot.
- Yeah.
- Anyway, you probably won't miss me.
There's an ongoing theory that I'm
merely a figment of your imagination.
(CHUCKLES) That's not true.
Ah, Ramanujan's out there.
There's a reason
he doesn't like proofs, you know.
They may be disagreeable to his formulas.
MEN: God save the King!
How do you mean?
Well, I've been having some
reservations about some of his work.
Well, what did you expect?
He may belong to
a world beyond us, but he's not God.
Well, that's a relief.
He's not.
How will Janaki ever come now?
Don't worry.
They say it'll be over by Christmas.
Please finish by telling him
that, of course, I will come
and not to worry
about the war. It is far away from here.
And that I will wait for him to make
the necessary arrangements.
Also that I love him very much.
That is all.
Make your mark here.
I knew your husband.
But he spent all the time at the temple.
He's still there in the alcove.
Amma, please, would you post this for him?
He needs to know
I will still come with the war.
Amma, please let me help you.
Where are all the vegetables?
Rationing for the war.
- And some... Thank you.
- Hmm.
WOMAN: There is no letter for you.
Please, can you check again?
I already looked again.
Now, you're holding up the queue.
- His mum forgot to write him.
Look who it is, the genius wog!
Can you believe they send us
off while he kips here in luxury?
Oi! Where do you think you're going?
You freeloading little blackie.
Hey. Hey.
I'm talking to you.
This is our home.
Don't you forget it.
Victory at any price?
Victory for whom?
I understand it's inevitable
that anybody primarily interested in peace
should be unpopular in a time of war.
But perhaps that is
all the more reason that we should exist.
- ALL: Hear, hear.
Mr. Littlewood has
very kindly offered us his rooms
while he is away
solving the intricacies of ballistics
for which he is so ill-suited.
So please keep your hands off my books.
By that he means his whiskey collection.
Thank you all very much for coming.
- Bless you.
Thank you so much. Thank you for coming.
Bloody cheek!
...were so fast and ours
were in completely the wrong position.
What is the meaning of this?
I'd have thought
you'd choose your battles more wisely.
After all, it's only the goodwill of
the college that allows Ramujin here.
What the bloody hell does the UDC have
to do with Ramanujan?
You should know that your friend,
Russell, is going to lose his lectureship
as a result of the leaflets
he's been distributing.
We have heard that others
are doing the same.
Are you threatening me?
Mr. Howard is simply
trying to enlighten you
as to the
precariousness of your situation.
You are perfectly at liberty to take
the matter to the College Council.
Well, rest assured, I shall, on principle.
Well, that's a rather dangerous word,
with all your liberal colleagues in France.
Change, Hardy. That's what you wanted.
Now you get used to it.
From Mr. Littlewood, sir.
If I may,
he's so misplaced on a battlefield,
I shouldn't think
a bullet would recognize him as a target.
Damn you, Littlewood.
LITTLEWOOD: My dear Harold,
please forgive
this personal transgression.
I'm gone now to this god-awful war
and haven't the faintest idea
if I will ever return.
Fortunately, unlike you,
I do have God to take comfort in.
I have two points to make.
The first is
that Ramanujan's work on primes,
while brilliant in itself, is actually wrong.
The other point is less straightforward.
You have in Ramanujan
nothing short of a miracle.
The man exceeds any notion of brilliance
that I have ever understood.
Forget Jacobi,
we can compare him with Newton.
I have come to believe
that for Ramanujan,
every single positive integer
is one of his personal friends.
And, to that end,
you, too, have a responsibility.
You have to look after him
and make sure that his work
amounts to something.
Don't let Howard and his lot win.
So, you see, Hardy,
you, too, have a war to fight.
Just don't let it be with Ramanujan.
So, there you have it.
He left this for you to see for yourself.
Your theorem on primes is wrong.
It's not. It can't be.
It's rather interesting, really.
If you compare
the prime number approximation
with the actual number of primes,
the calculation tells us what?
It always moves higher.
Even at a thousand? A million?
A billion trillion?
Where is the proof?
I gave it to you. It proves it.
No, because
however intuitively obvious it may seem,
when subject to calculation, it fails.
Mr. Littlewood has calculated a number
and it shows that your theorem
will sometimes predict less,
not more,
than the actual number of primes.
Your theorem is wrong.
And this is why we cannot publish anymore
until you finally
trust me on this business of proofs.
Intuition can only carry you so far.
I... I can't hear this anymore.
You say this word as if it is nothing.
Is that all it is to you? All that I am?
Look, I'm sorry.
Am I... I'm missing something.
You've... You've never even seen me,
let alone know me.
You... You are a man of no faith!
I don't see pictures of anyone here!
Not even family! Who are you, Mr. Hardy?
How dare you...
How dare you judge me?
But it is you
who does of me! Don't you see?
Quite frankly, I don't!
Don't you know
what I've given up to be here?
I have nothing.
Do you even see the bruises on my face?
I have a wife, Mr. Hardy.
At last.
Ramanujan? Is that you?
Mr. Hardy.
You're not well?
Nothing serious.
I'm just off to the Wren.
Believe it or not, if you can
find your way round the beds,
there are still some books there.
Those proofs you left...
Really wonderful.
So, we start work again?
Tomorrow morning?
- Yes, sir.
- Good.
My regards to your fine wife.
Thank you so much.
Good day, gentlemen.
I'm very sorry, sir.
He was a fine young man.
Best... Best of his year.
They were all fine young men.
All the knowledge they gained here.
Sacrificed for a few yards of land.
They say it's the price of victory. Hmm?
Come, Bertie.
I'm worried about Ramanujan.
Well, he doesn't seem quite himself.
What would you know about that?
Very little, I admit.
But I don't think he's well.
He seems to have changed.
We had a terrible row the other night
about intuition,
of all things, and he stormed out.
And then a day later he
produces these wonderful proofs.
Well, Harold, you've got your way.
How do you mean?
You and your damned
rigor has finally broken his spirits.
I warned you to let him run.
Yeah, well, he's not a bloody racehorse.
No, he's not.
But as you've hardly treated him as
a human being, I suppose...
Well, I suppose a horse
isn't a bad place to start.
Major, can I have a word?
I don't have time for you!
It's Ramanujan.
The gall.
The unbridled arrogance.
He won't be able to do it without you.
He won't be able to do it at all.
I've been going over
your work on partitions.
Seems to me you're
on the verge of a major breakthrough.
So now you've
begun to embrace some proper rigor...
I think you should meet Major MacMahon.
He's the leader
in combinatorics at the University and...
Also happens to be
one of your most vocal opponents.
He says partitions can't be done.
Especially by the likes of you.
Then he better start counting very high.
MACMAHON: Enter at your own risk!
I've been waiting for you.
Square root of 58,639? Now!
242 what?
Point 1549090.
Yes, child's play. Try me.
(LAUGHS) Go on.
Same number squared.
- Ha! Thrashed ya!
Combinatorics, that's what I do.
Glorified dice throwing.
Bloody nerve of you both.
You fail on primes,
then you think you can just turn
round and crack partitions?
Can't be done, I'm telling you.
Especially not by you.
It can.
And I will.
No, I will.
By hand.
By slow and painful addition,
and then you can be absolutely certain
that whatever formula you two can dream
up will be quite wrong.
Then you can crawl back under whatever
rock you came from in India
and we can put
to bed this charade of yours, Hardy.
Now, how high do I have to go?
P of 200 should do.
I really can do it.
Well, here we are, P of 200.
The moment of truth.
You know, I was stationed in Madras once.
Well, you first.
What has your formula given you?
My God.
You're close.
Within 2%.
Well, I'll be damned.
Major MacMahon, may I introduce you
to Mr. Ramanujan.
- How long?
Three weeks.
Mmm-hmm. And the fever?
- Longer.
- Breathe in.
Breathe in.
Well, it's not good.
You've all the early signs of tubercula.
I'm sorry.
You're a breeding ground for infection.
I'm so sorry, Ramanujan.
Hardy can never know.
BOY: Run! Run!
It's a zeppelin!
- Come on, Ram!
- Over here!
I'm being punished.
It's just the fever.
Has he wrote yet?
Where are you going?
You forgot me.
You see, you were right.
Cauchy's theorem will work.
It's just leading to the circle concept.
At 2,000, it should bring it down to...
Less than 1 % or so.
And as N goes to infinity...
The error goes to zero.
You see? You're beginning to
see the nuances and complexities,
which you were
only catching at a glance before.
What an unlikely team we make.
If we really crack partitions, this will be
a monumental breakthrough.
Did I tell you I've...
I've put you up for a Fellowship?
Mr. Hardy,
thank you.
Are you getting enough to eat?
I mean, I know there are shortages,
but there's still plenty
of good grub in Hall.
I'm all right.
It's nothing.
Let me ask you something.
How does all this come to you?
I don't know.
Why am I bothering with a Council meeting
when I'm getting the boot?
If you think I'm gonna have
that charlatan for a Fellow,
you're very much mistaken.
Oh, please tell me you didn't propose him.
- He's gonna crack partitions.
- Oh.
He's worthy.
You're the one who told me
to let him run
like a damn horse. Well, I did.
And now I... I need to raise his spirits.
You mean you need
to relieve your own guilt.
Really, for someone so clever,
you can be so terribly dim.
So, in the matter
of Fellowship for Srinivasa Ramanujan,
we call the matter to vote.
I'm sorry to bother you so late.
I felt I should be the one to tell you.
I'm very embarrassed,
for myself and for the College.
But your Fellowship was denied.
Thank you for telling me.
I know you did all you could.
MAN: Yeah, more dressings!
MAN: Can we have
someone over here, please?
MAN: Nurse!
MAN: Nurse!
NURSE: That's it, just breathe.
Nurse! Nurse!
Shall I wake him?
He'll come when he's ready.
NURSE: Excuse me, Doctor.
This gentleman's
looking for the Indian student.
Ah, yes.
He came in last night.
Not right in the head.
Terrible fever.
He was here.
DOCTOR: Your condition has worsened.
You may not have long.
You should set your affairs in order.
Do you have any family here?
MAN: No!
Sir, something's happened in London.
Call me a taxi, will you?
DOCTOR: He was very lucky with the train.
The conductor saw him before he jumped.
The danger is his lungs.
Yes, he's had a bad cough for some time.
It is no cough.
He has advanced tuberculosis.
Well, is... Is there nothing we could do?
It will take a miracle.
I'm sorry for the trouble I've caused you.
Gave me quite a scare.
My wife has forgotten me.
I have no one.
I understand that
you might feel like that, but...
You should have told me.
I could have helped.
You know,
it just as easily could have been me.
Well, I'm glad it wasn't.
You have cause enough with Ramanujan.
I'll be thinking of you both.
Where will you go?
Oh, I'll go down the road to Oxford.
And I'll wait for
them to beg to have me back here.
Good-bye, Harold.
Bye, Bertie.
Too bad he couldn't take Hardy with him.
I still don't see what
he bloody contributes.
Yeah, I had words with Major MacMahon.
It seems that Ramanujan's on the
verge of a major breakthrough.
That's right. Partitions.
Oh, that's impossible.
Hmm. Remains to be seen.
God, it's freezing in here.
Are you warm enough?
Try sleeping. I have to go to that
pipe just so I don't freeze.
It would have been
better for all had the train done its job.
Oh, yeah, you could
have been reincarnated as a pigeon turd.
Sorry I've not
been able to be a better friend
to you in the traditional sense.
I know you've needed one,
but I'm not very good at all of that.
I never have been.
Life for me is...
It's always been mathematics.
You wanted to know how I get my ideas.
My God.
She speaks to me.
Puts formulas on my tongue when I sleep,
sometimes when I pray.
Do you believe me?
Because if you are my friend, then you
will know that I'm telling you the truth.
If you are truly my friend.
But I don't believe in God.
I don't believe in anything I can't prove.
Then you can't believe in me.
Don't you see?
An equation has no meaning to me
unless it expresses a thought of God.
Maybe it is better
that we just remain what we were.
When I was at school,
I remember one of my chaplains saying,
"You know God exists
because He's like a kite,
"and you can feel the tug on the
string and know that He's up there."
I said, "What if there's no
wind and the kite can't fly?"
No, I... I can't believe in God.
I don't believe
in the immemorial wisdom of the East,
but I do believe in you.
Thank you.
I very much want to
finish what we started.
I brought some calculations
in case you were feeling a bit better.
And then I want to go home.
As soon as I am able.
Or if I should die, you have to
promise that you will get me home.
You're not going to die.
Oh, this came for you.
I'll leave you in peace.
Try and do what the doctors ask.
I know it's not in your nature.
JANAKI: I will never know
why you have chosen to forsake me.
Just a letter in response
to the multitude I have sent
you would have been enough.
I have gone to be with my brother
and his family where I will remain.
This last letter is to say good-bye.
What happened?
I don't know. He's a terrible patient.
Doesn't believe
in medicine. Won't eat anything.
Just prays to his Namagiri.
Well, I'd be praying too
if you were my doctor.
And I'm a bloody atheist.
This is my fault.
(RASPING) Yes, maybe.
We are within .004.
This can't die with me, Mr. Hardy.
You're not going to die.
If this is correct,
(PUFFING) you'll make a difference.
I have the proofs.
My God.
He did it. He really did it.
Now he must be a Fellow.
Oh, be practical, Hardy.
He'll only fail again.
Not with your help, he won't.
Besides, there is another way.
If he was a...
If he had a Royal Fellowship...
- An FRS?
- Mmm.
He's Indian!
MacMahon, listen to me.
He really needs this.
See that this gets
to Lieutenant Littlewood.
Littlewood? Where?
Mr. Hobson, Mr. Baker, I have someone
who wishes to talk to you
about Mr. Ramanujan.
Trinity denied him.
I just want
the opportunity to make the case.
Try him on his merits.
Suit yourself. But I think you'll
find the result will be the same.
- Hardy.
- Morning.
Now what have you got
yourself involved with?
Good of you to come.
Wouldn't have missed it for the world.
So, now we see the work on partitions
and the enormous
breakthrough that has been achieved.
All this, mind you,
by a man whose limitations
of knowledge when I met him
were as startling as was its profundity.
Opinions may differ as to the
importance of Ramanujan's work
and the influence it may or may not
have on the mathematics of the future,
but one gift it does show
is its profound and invincible originality.
Mr. Littlewood once told me
that "every positive integer is one
of Ramanujan's personal friends."
I believe this to be true.
He told me that
an equation for him had no meaning
unless it expressed a thought of God.
Well, despite everything in my
being set to the contrary,
perhaps he is right.
For is this not exactly our
justification for pure mathematics?
We are merely explorers of infinity
in the pursuit of absolute perfection.
We do not invent
these formulae, they already exist
and lie in wait for only the very
brightest of minds, like Ramanujan,
ever to divine and prove.
So, in the end,
I have been forced to consider,
who are we to question Ramanujan,
let alone God?
Thank you.
It's bad enough that
this charlatan has wasted our time once.
And now Hardy has dragged
the only person in the world
who will support him out of the trenches.
No, enough is
enough with this... This Ramujin.
Littlewood is not the only one.
I think he has the
finest mind I've seen in my lifetime.
And his name is Ramanujan.
I'm a Fellow of the Royal Society.
He wrote to me.
If you had gone to him,
he would never return.
Are you really gonna go home?
War is over. It is time.
Well, as a Fellow of the Royal Society,
they're gonna be really proud of you.
- I owe you so much.
- No, no, no.
It's I who owe you.
Come on. Come on the grass. You're late.
But, sir, I can't.
I'm not a Fellow over here.
Are you sure about that?
Well, as an FRS, what could they say?
Repeat after me.
"I, Srinivas Ramanujan,
"elected Fellow of Trinity College..."
I, Srinivas Ramanujan,
elected Fellow of Trinity College.
Sorry I'm late. Bloody cab driver got lost.
Should have known from his number.
And what was that?
Rather a dull one.
No, Hardy.
It is a very interesting number.
It is the smallest number expressible
as the sum of two cubes
in two different ways.
Have you notified your family?
Just not her.
I don't even know if she got my letter.
I... I... I'm rather
out of my depth in such affairs, but...
But I will say this.
There are no proofs nor underlying laws
that can determine
the outcome of matters of the heart.
Of this I'm sure.
Perhaps when we meet again you will
have such matters of your own.
Well, perhaps.
I will miss you, my friend.
I will miss you.
So, I want a letter with you with all
your new work, every week.
And come back to us in a year's time.
I promise.
Afternoon post, sir.
Thank you.
At last.
Is he coming back, sir?
It is difficult to put into words...
What I owe
His originality has been
a constant source of suggestion to me
ever since I first met him.
And his death
is one of the worst blows I have ever felt.
But now I say to myself
when I'm depressed,
and I find myself forced to listen
to tiresome and pompous people,
"Well, I've done something
you could never have done.
"I have collaborated
with both Littlewood and Ramanujan
"on something like equal terms."
Let's take this one.
I don't see
what's so special about this one.
Neither did I at first.
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