The Theory Of Everything embarks on the life of a physicist student at the University of Cambridge in the 1960s. Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) is an extraordinary mind with a harrowing yet compelling story which is beautifully depicted in this biopic based on the non-fiction book “Travelling to Infinity: My life with Stephen”.
While studying in Trinity Halls Stephen meets fellow student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) who is a literature student and kindred soul. The two are parallel in their thoughts and perceptions despite one thesis – the relationship of science and faith. While Jane is deeply religious and very much a firm believer in God, Stephen is on the search for a meaning to life explained by science.
There is a rapid development shortly after this romance is kindled as Stephen has a major fall and is faced with overwrought news. He is diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) and is given a life expectancy of just two years. Isolating himself from the world including Jane, Stephen finds it hard to come to terms with the fact that science cannot solve his problem but feels that it has rather betray him as he progressively loses ability to control his body and movement. Jane wastes no time and while most would depart from this cruel heart rendering situation she sees it as the perfect opportunity to pursue true love and marriage and having a family.
…it focuses rather on his life and struggle for his body to keep up with his mind…
Years have passed and time has progressed yet Stephen continues to defeat expectations and continues his search for an explanation for his spatial and temporal awareness. Jane continues to care full time for her husband and children while also finding strength to care for herself – silencing her internal struggles.
While the film title suggests that the focus is on Stephen Hawking’s career and his ongoing search trying to explain the meaning and start of time – it focuses rather on his life and struggle for his body to keep up with his mind. There are significant parts of his career however depicted in a docudrama set up throughout the film. Fortunately they’re only titbits that connect relevance to his personal story.
…Hawking’s thoughts and emotions is what is truly moving and compelling…
The strength of this film is the effortless portrayal of the upcoming cast. Redmayne illustrates the progressive MND seamlessly and at times makes you forget that you are watching a biopic and rather makes you feel as if you are watching the real deterioration of Stephen Hawking. The display of Hawking’s thoughts and emotions is what is truly moving and compelling about Redmayne’s performance. Equally as moving and potentially more challenging is the portrayal of Jane by Wilde – as she demonstrates a range of conflicting emotions and manages to remain loyal and strong for her husband and children.
Incredibly moving and effortlessly compelling The Theory Of Everything is a beautiful and honest love story without the Hollywood clichés. While the biopic theme is evident and the narrative is based on Hawking’s first marriage – it acts as a venture into universal issues that make the films transferrable themes relatable to everyday life. There is no doubt that this film will become critically acclaimed and rightfully acknowledged in the midst of the current award season.