Adventures of a Mathematician by Thor Klein [3/10]

Richard Rhodes, in Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb, one of his rich histories of the atom, recounts at length the battle between Stanislaw Ulam, the Polish mathematical prodigy, and Edward Teller, our dark Cold War “Strangelove,” for supremacy and ownership of the Father of the Hydrogen Bomb title. He comes down, if I recall rightly, on Ulam’s side. It is an emblematic story, and, armed with Ulam’s memoir of the same name, should have led to “Adventures of a Mathematician” being a fascinating film for German writer/director Thor Klein. Unfortunately, constrained by being “based on a true story,” this movie seems to ride along with scene after scene sapped of dramatic tension. Phillipe Tiokinski seems well cast for the role (at least based on my limited historical impression of Ulam) but flubs the role. Even the sound seems at fault, with diction difficult to follow. A resounding lode of modern history, Adventures of a Mathematician disappoints.

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