Review of 'The Theory of Everything'

the_theory_of_everything.jpg Based on the biography by his first wife, The Theory of Everything tells the story of the physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) beginning from when he first meets his first wife, Jane (Felicity Jones), at a party then shortly later finds out he has “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or “Lou Gehrig's Disease”. They decide they will quickly get married and make the most of the time they have left. The disease takes it's terrible toll as the two struggle to cope with the strain on Jane taking care of a husband whose body is slowly shutting down as well as their growing family. Jane turns to a friend, Jonathan (Charlie Cox) for support and finds in him something more this. Stephen's mind cannot be squashed as he eventually finds his voice and makes his theories known. Success comes towards the end of the movie with the publishing of his seminal “A Brief History of Time” where Stephen achieves world-wide fame.

I have to say that Eddie Redmayne does an astounding job playing Hawking in both his physical and mental condition. Often despite the lack of movement expression drips from Redmayne's performance as the troubled scientist. The well known humour of Hawking is also often evident in this performance complete with the mischievous glint in his eye. It is, frankly, astonishing at how well Redmayne has captured Hawking on screen (this has been also acknowledged off-screen by the Hawkings themselves).

It should be noted that this movie is not an overview of the technical work of Hawking (though it does provide enough information so that you get an idea of it) but rather tells the human story behind this work – The struggles of his life and the effect on those around him. The film is a dignified but often honest portrayal of an amazing relationship. Here we see Jane giving so much to her husband that she loses herself and her needs and Stephen being so obsessed with his work yet struggling to be heard and make his thoughts understood.

An incredible insight into the life of one of the most well-known scientists that ever lived that makes his accomplishments that much more astonishing. The take away here is to never give up no matter the odds and what other people say - Hawking is a tremendous example of exactly this.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2015-01-28

Directed by: James Marsh

Studio: Working Title Films

Year: 2014

Length: 123 minutes

Genre: Melodrama

Other reviewed films by James Marsh: