Film Review: The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything is a surprisingly romantic story about the life of Stephen Hawking, the world renowned cosmologist and physicist. The film focuses mainly on Hawking and his relationship with his first wife, showing how that relationship changed and adapted with the onset and progress of motor neurone disease.

Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Hawking was amazing to watch as he manages to completely change the way he communicates as the disease slowly causes his body to deteriorate. Through his portrayal of Hawking you can really understand how trapped and alone he first feels causing him to push his friends and family away. Felicity Jones also gives a convincing performance as Jane Wilde, in fact they are a brilliant on screen duo whose chemistry makes this film all the more compelling to watch. The film makes Hawking and his wife Jane’s story feel alive on screen, as if you really were watching a couple go through emotional upheaval when faced with their tragic circumstances and inevitable change.

There are several scenes which highlight the debilitating nature of the disease. One in particular is when he hosts a dinner party at his house, surrounded by well and able people, he is driven to seek comfort from his son who is up stairs. Hawking has to use what little muscle control he has left in his arms to pull himself up the stairs, he turns and sees his son staring down at him, implicitly suggesting that he has as much control over his own body as his baby son does over his.

I do feel that the film is primarily a love story with the addition of some of Hawking’s theories being touched upon. The film completely splits Hawking’s life rather than integrating the science and romantic sides to deliver an actual biopic. I feel at some points the film doesn’t go far enough and as such left some unanswered questions: did they really condone each other having affairs with other people? Why did they suddenly split up?

These lead performances were thoroughly deserving of the plaudits and awards, the cinematography allowed one to be immersed in the film, making the experience rewarding and impressive. If you’re wondering if you should see this film, I think it is a good one: 8/10.

[Lamorna Brown]

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