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Review - The Theory of Everything

By midlandsmovies, Jan 6 2015 07:52PM

The Theory of Everything (2015) Dir. James Marsh

Based upon “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen” by Hawking’s first wife Jane, director James Marsh’s tries to cover everything in the genius astrophysicist’s life from his 1960s Cambridge student years through two marriages and finally to his debilitating illness. Beginning at University, Marsh uses fireworks to show a big bang of a romance as Hawking (played by an amazing Eddie Remayne, but more of him later) woos both his tutors with his intelligence and his future wife with romance.

As an awkward relationship finds its feet, Hawking stumbles upon learning that his laboured movements are the result of motor neuron disease which the doctor explains will see him lose function of his body and see him dead within 2 years.

The film then follows the difficulties the new couple must face as Jane (played by Felicity Jones) agrees to marry Stephen and stick by her man through these most difficult of circumstances. The solid but not spectacular direction portrays the pioneering Hawking through major milestones in his career from gaining further awards to marriage difficulties until he eventually succumbs to a wheelchair despite his active mind exploring the complexities of space as well as his complicated life on earth. Great support comes in the form of David Thewlis as College Professor Dennis Sciama who pushes, supports and challenges Hawking with a knowing glint in his eye that he is, in fact, in his immense superior shadow throughout.

But it is Redmayne who should be held as high in his profession as Hawking is in his. The actor completely embodies Hawking’s slow decline and from researching the role to his complete commitment, every scene Redmayne is not in he is sorely missed. A dedicated performance is complimented by Felicity Jones playing an equally forthright wife and although the film fuses together composite characters, skips some of the more awkward realities of the book (with only hints of Hawking’s stubbornness appearing) and compresses time, the movie is always tender at heart. From Hawking enjoying time with his 3 children and Jane’s stoic resolve, the movie is about the human spirit rather than the scientific reasoning that has made Hawking so famous.

With Hawking himself providing his equalizer computerized voice to the later scenes, it is also somewhat ironic that I (people my age pretty much only know Hawking as he currently is) wanted to see less of the ‘now’ and more of the story of how it all began at the start.

This biography therefore follows the formula like a simple equation but if the only flaw is that it is too simple like your ABCs then as long as you are interested in Amazing Actors, Brilliant Biographies or Celebrating Cosmoslogical Champions then you will certainly enjoy this film.

9/10 Midlands Movies Mike

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