Documentary and Drama filmmaker, James Marsh brings to us a beautiful tale of two wonderful people whom fall in love and tackle life. It’s not simply a film about Stephen Hawkings life, rather a moment to seep his courageous journey. A precious yet memorable journey.
James Marsh’s biopic of the celebrated scientist Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything, stars Eddie Redmayne as the famous figure. Enrolled as a graduate student at Cambridge, Hawking establishes himself as one of the leading minds of his generation, and begins to win the heart of Jane (Felicity Jones). After one of his earliest breakthroughs, Hawking is diagnosed with ALS, and he becomes less and less able to control his own body. With the loyal Jane at his side, he continues his work. However, as the years progress, Jane starts to feel more like a nurse than a wife, and Hawking begins to have feelings for a woman who is hired to care for him (Fandango 2014).
The Theory of Everything takes you on a heart-warming journey; truly making you understand the depths of Stephens’s character and where everything began. From the very first shot of him cycling through the streets of London, to the split moment his head hits the floor, the pacing of the film is perfect, where every scene is accounted for. As the story takes you on its ups and downs, we admire how it toys with our emotions, as it makes you realise the reality of life. A life made up of a bundle of little things. And Marsh brings these little things to life. From the spark of falling in love to the equations of black holes, we digest this powerful story in a precious way.
Along with a thought-provoking narrative, The Theory of Everything is visually pleasing. Cinematographer, Benôit Delhomme, creates such soft ambience in every shot of the film. A British-feel in the colours combined with a warmer overlay brings not only the narrative but the characters to life, truly merging you within the film. It takes time and precision to capture the right shot for each scene, and Delhomme knows which types of shots are perfect for the narrative. From macro shots of Stephen’s hands and face, to wide symmetrical shots where Stephen lays in the bath in a dark-ridden room.
The Theory of Everything is brought to life by Oscar nominated actor, Eddie Redmayne whom plays Stephen Hawking. He beautifully and realistically brings Hawking’s personality to life, where you cannot help but applaud his performance. It’s clear Eddie has put effort into this role, where his accurate posture and profound body gestures mirror Hawking, truly creating a realistic performance. Through sparks of comedy, twitches, leg movements and of course his voice/dialect, Redmayne fulfils Hawking’s character like no other. We truly see the effects of ALS through his character, yet this doesn’t stop him from living or dreaming.
Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking also powerfully depicts Stephen’s wife through a realistic portrayal. Her sweet-like personality together with her unconditional love for Stephen is remarkable. Felicity brings Jane’s character to life, where her love, dedication and caring personality is emphasised through her gestures towards Stephen. Jones and Redmayne spark chemistry on screen, where it doesn’t look over-acted nor acted at all, their bond comes off as real and legitimate, making you fall in love with both characters.
Overall, The Theory of Everything is a wonderful tale truly exploring the lives of Stephen and Jane Hawking. Through education, knowledge, love, family, we experience Hawking’s journey is it is, as it was, making you feel closer to him. From learning about his past in a visually and narratively engaging way, as the audience you begin to absorb Hawking’s story, making you one step closer to him. His theories question life, where you begin to question it with him. His books, words and wisdom become a source of inspiration. Through courage, laughter and love Stephen proves his success and how there truly is no boundaries.
A heart-warming tale for all brought to life by the performance of Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones and supporting cast.
My Rating: 9/10
Written by: Meera Darji
Fandor, 2014 The Theory of Everything Synopsis [online] Available from <http://www.fandango.com/thetheoryofeverything_175660/plotsummary> (Novemeber 7 2014)