Geniuses come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and gender. Hollywood has done a pretty good job of ensuring they show us the work and life of some of the greatest real-world geniuses that ever lived.
The Man Who Knew Infinity – Srinivasa Ramanujan
Many stories of geniuses never get to see the light of day. Many die or are side-lined by more famous or powerful people. Srinivasa Ramanujan was a lowly Indian living in British India. Since he was an Indian, his magnanimous mathematical skills were often overlooked. After he sent a letter solving a complex problem to Cambridge, his skills were recognized and he was accepted into the Cambridge program as an initiate. In Cambridge, he faced racism and medial issues that complicated his efforts to publish his manuscript. The Man Who Knew Infinity is a classic example of how the world categorically proves the fact that the West will never welcome Foreign Geniuses into their ranks.
21 – Kevin Lewis
The movie features a group of gifted MIT graduates that enter Las Vegas and use their superior mathematical skills to game the system, ripping millions of dollars from the casinos. The lead protagonist of the movie is Ben Campbell, who is a new initiate into the group and is the greatest maths whiz within the team. The source for the movie was the book bringing Down the House published in the year 2003 by Ben Mezrich. Ben Campbell is based on Kevin Lewis, who was recruited by a group of MIT maths geniuses into coordinating and looting the Las Vegas Casinos in the game of Black Jack.
The Imitation Game – Alan Turing
The British and the Allies were having trouble deciphering German Codes during World War Two. The legendary Enygma Machine used by the Nazis was thought to be unbreakable. Many believed it could not be cracked. It was then when a crazy mathematician called Alan Turing came forward. Turing claimed that the reason the enigma codes could not be cracked by the human mind is that the human mind is not capable of comprehending this much data at a time. It was time for a machine to take over. Turing and his crew built the Turing Machine, one of the world’s first mechanical computers. Alan Turing was later chemically castrated for being a homosexual. The story has a very sad ending.
At Eternity’s Gate – Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh is a true genius in his field. There is no argument over that fact. The artist was once so engrossed in his work that he cut off his own ear in retaliation for a failure he encountered. Many do not understand the inner workings of the eccentric Van Gogh. Willem Dafoe’s amazing performance as the eponymous Van Gogh is something no one should miss. At Eternity’s Gate is not a movie that chronicles Van Gogh’s genius. That is already a well-established fact since the dawn of time. What it does try to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Van Gogh was just a normal human being that was misunderstood because he went against the flow of the world.
Frida – Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo is an acclaimed artist hailing from the heartlands of Mexico. She is well-known for her self-portraits where she employs colors and paints objects in the background in great detail. Kahlo always ensured she puts her country’s heritage and artifacts into her works. Frida Kahlo was a genius-level artist who used her paintings to question the elite authorities of Mexico on topics like class structure, racism, and post-colonialism. Frida is a movie that tells her life. Starring Salma Hayek as the titular character, it shows how Frida channeled her disgruntlement with her family into art, becoming one of the greatest patrons of her domain in a rather short while.
A Beautiful Mind – John Nash
John Nash won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his economic theory of The Nash Equilibrium. Nash is seen as the greatest economist of his generation. What people do not know about him is the fact that John Nash was mentally unstable even during the peak of his prime. Suffering from paranoid Schizophrenia, John Nash started imagining things like he has been contacted by a secret government organization to crack secret soviet codes and stop World War 3 from happening. Nash eventually lost his job and his wife. In the end, Nash realized the error of his ways and took to the life of an intellectual. Nash proposed the Nash Equilibrium and won the Nobel Prize when he was still suffering from Schizophrenia.
The Theory of Everything – Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking will always be remembered as one of the greatest theoretical physicists of his time. Jane Hawking wrote a memoir chronicling the life and times of Stephen Hawking. Jane Hawking was married to Stephen Hawking for a period of 30 years where she saw the man he loved turn from a legendary genius into a paraplegic. The movie also explores the relationship between Stephen Hawking and Jane Hawking in great detail. The movie will inspire anyone who is trying to find a purpose to keep moving forward. Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with a deadly condition, he lost the love of his life, tried to kill himself, and yet today he is regarded as one of the greatest minds the world has ever seen. What’s your excuse for not getting out of bed in the morning?
Hidden Figures – Katherine Johnson
Hidden Figures is the story of three African American Women living in the 1960’s United States of America. Back then racism was still rampart within the states. Sexism was prevalent. These three women were working as human computers in NASA, which was trying to put astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Katherine Johnson was one of the human computers in that mission. And she played a pivotal role in ensuring the mission is a success. Johnson and the rest of the women had to deal with racism at the workplace and fight social constructs and norms to make their dream a reality. Hidden Figures is not just a story about geniuses but also a tale of how three women went against all odds and did not just survive but thrive.
X+Y – Daniel Lightwing
Daniel Lightwing started out very small. Google had already recognized his talent as a gifted backend developer. Lightwing would soon change the course of his career. He would start Castella Research, a London Based Online Gambling Business. Castella Research bet and gambled based on Lightwing’s proved and tested algorithms that were based on high-frequency trading inspired methods for placing bets on sports exchanges. In the movie X+Y, Asa Butterfield plays Nathaniel Ellis, a character inspired by Lightwing. The movie reveals Ellis’ journey as he has to choose between a promising career and become a millionaire or choose to let it all go and live the rest of his life in peace and harmony along with the love of his life.
Catch Me If You Can – Frank Abagnale Junior
You can say whatever you want about the actions of Leonardo DiCaprio in this movie but what Frank Abagnale Junior had managed to do, nobody else could have pulled off. Frank Abagnale taught himself on how to print and produce counterfeit cheques. He was called the James Bond of the Skies. Using a combination of Forgery and disguise, Abagnale fooled the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as Interpol, deceiving countless governments and stealing more than millions in cash. Frank Abagnale did not have any training. Whatever he had accomplished, he had done it on his own. That warrants applause! Frank disguised himself as a Lawyer, a defence prosecution specialist, a pilot, as well as a doctor and he actually did it all before he hit even 19. The man had the stroke of genius written all over him.