The Theory of Everything

by | Jan 6, 2015 | 0 comments

A Beautifully Acted Film that is a Proper Tribute to Stephen Hawking

It’s hard to make a biographic movie that keeps people on their toes yet stays true to the facts. I found myself getting a little bored after a while when watching Get on Up and Walk the Line. The repetitiveness of the lives being told got elongated and dragging. However, in The Theory of Everything, we are kept constantly on our toes, whether because the person being portrayed is extremely interesting or simply because the adaption of page to screen is incredibly skillful, there is no doubt that The Theory of Everything is one of the best biographic pieces in a long time.  

The Theory of Everything tells the story of Stephen Hawking, the British physicist famous for his work on black holes. The film follows Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) through his final year at Cambridge University in England where he dazzles his professors and friends and is striving to get a PhD. At Cambridge Stephen meets the beautiful and witty Jane (Felicity Jones) with whom he falls in love with. However, just as his life is about to start he diagnosed with ALS; given two years of life expectancy. At first, Stephen tries rejecting Jane, for her own sake, but she decides to stay. Jane ends up marrying Stephen, and we proceed to see how their life evolves as Stephen’s sickness progresses. 

The beauty of this film isn’t in its breathtaking cinematography or its bold direction, by Man on Wire’s James Marsh; the true artistry comes from Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones’ performances. Both actors delve so deeply into their characters you feel like you are watching a documentary. Redmayne’s progression as he begins to lose control of his muscles is extremely painful for the audience. There is one particular scene in which Redmayne is trying to drag himself up the stairs as his own baby son looks at him from atop quizzically. And the most impressive part is that these scenes weren’t filmed chronologically, Redmayne had to constantly alter the progression of his sickness every day. As Stephen finally loses control of all his muscles and even his voice we have Redmayne continue to mesmerize us with his eyes. If you may permit this cheesy line: Redmayne allows us to see into Stephen’s soul. A simple eyebrow twitch or a widening of his eyes is all Redmayne needs to tell his story. Meanwhile Felicity Jones also gives a spectacular performance as the struggling wife and mother who attempts to care for her children and Stephen, earn money for her family, and finish her studying at the Cambridge University. Jones’ performance reminds me a bit of Jennifer Connelly’s in A Beautiful Mind in which Connelly’s wife to Russell Crowe’s mathematical genius John Nash also struggles maintaining her family as well as her sanity. Jones’ desperation filters through the audience as we wait for her to crack, but instead see an incredibly strong woman.

The film is a proper tribute to one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived. Its release is also perfectly timed with those of the similarly themed The Imitation Game and Interstellar. The film shows a physical and psychological overcoming that is inspiring and added with the actors’ performances makes this film a must-see.







Historical Accuracy

What is your favorite branch of science? Let me know in the comments section.

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