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In his stunning directorial debut, Matthew Broderick stars in INFINITY, based on the true-life story of physicist Richard Feynman, who, as a young man fell madly in love with a beautiful young woman, Arline Greenbaum (Patricia Arquette) with whom he shared a very special bond. In 1941, when the United States plunged into World War II, Feynman was recruited to work at Los Alamos on the top-secret government project that was to develop the first atomic bomb.
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This is a little, one-off video, along the lines of Robin and Marian, A New Leaf, Just Tell Me What You Want, and other come movies that never reached great heights, but are nonetheless unique, well made, and very entertaining.
I count myself incredibly fortunate to have been in the audience for a class to hear to Richard Feynman reminisce about his war time experience at Los Alamos. Whereas our professor, Larry Badash (with 2 other editors) published a bookReminiscences of Los Alamos 1943-1945 (Studies in the History of Modern Science), the reissue of Surely Your Joking in the form of Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character (with New Live CD) can't be over looked. You get to hear Feynman's New York cabbie voice (as others have described it). Buy this book with the CD.
I only recently found the audio version of Surely Your Joking which includes material before Los Alamos which was taken from a Chris Sykes documentary interview (this forms the basis for scenes on inertia and lack of meaning about words (birds) in the film. Sykes's own biography based on getting to know Feynman late in his life pointed out early that some reviewers of old Feynman videos thought Feynman sounded less than a great teacher. In the end, the audio version reread "didn't do it" for me.
These lectures and recordings form the basis for the Infinity film.
Infinity attempts to cover a number of events in Feynman's early life revolving around this romance with his first wife Arline while culminating with both her loss and working on nuclear theory in the Manhattan Project on the first atomic bomb.
The Broderick's interpretation of Feynman's early life just didn't quite "do" that for me. They had a hard time trying to convey Feynman's enthusiasm and excitement and his personal romance. So much context gets left out (like why he has to brief the kids working for him <security normally forbid that>) that the film loses its effect.
Yes: perhaps it's me, that I have too much context, but that would go for anyone attempting to understand Feynman including the English critics mentioned by Sykes No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman. He's not for every one. I could have used a guy like him when I was much younger (he can be very inspiring to a certain kind of person).
My suggestion is to go the the real sources: the book with the CD and the books (Sure and What do you Care? authored by Feynman) first. Compare Feynman's own words and voice to the scene going out the Los Alamos gate and in via a hole in the fence three times. The filmed scene isn't quite as effective. Try a library and read his Red books (his physics text book in 3 volumes, much harder).
It's whimsical and tragic, funny and yet deadly serious about the way the world works.
True to Richard Feynman's book, "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" with some episodes from his other book, "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman." What a story !!
This movie has been done very very badly. The direction is poor. When you watch a movie about a scientist as brilliant as Feynman, you expect his science and his passion for it to be an important part of it though not necessarily the main part of it (like in 'A Beautiful Mind'). This movie is more like a love-story that doesn't really give you anything out of it. It takes some episodes from Feynman's book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and puts them together very awkwardly in-between a love-story.
Matthew Broderick is too ordinary an actor to play Richard Feynman.
The movie doesn't flow smoothly. it doesn't take a grip. If you have read anything by Feynman, scientific or non-scientific, you will find this movie extremely superficial. The Feynman in the movie is too ordinary. So this movie ends up being 'A' love-story about a guy who just happens to be 'A' scientist. This is almost a Hollywood chick-flick about a scientist. Broderick should stick to things like Godzilla.
Feynman's life deserves a far better effort of documentation.
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make it almost boring? I don't know, but have a watch and see if you can