Review: ‘The Theory of Everything’

The Theory of Everything tells a story of a brilliant astrophysicist who defies all odds—even science.

Eddie Redmayne plays the character of Stephen Hawking, an awkward, yet clever man who proves that the impossible is more than possible. Continuing to live today, he inspires, without being able to speak one word, he lives, despite the little time doctors told him he would have left and he still fights through motor neuron disease with his all.

Redmayne’s performance is a work of art. He manages to perfect the role of a man physically deteriorating, losing his ability to walk, speak and do the simplest things like taking off a sweater. However, with the brutal effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease, what I found so mind blowing is the undefeatable passion for science that he held, as well as his courage to discover the unknown.

Hawking’s story manages to create beauty from a tragedy, which ultimately left the audience sobbing at moments, other times with jaws dropped. Absorbed in every moment of the movie, I found myself at the very edge of my seat. This witty, but sad romance creates an entirely new perspective that so many of us lack—being positive when a situation leaves you with nothing. Embracing flaws and still managing to become a legend is something that Hawking shows us through his life.

All while his disease, Jane Wilde, Hawking’s first wife, played by actress Felicity Jones stands by his side. Their Cliché-nerdy, love at first sight romance soon forms into a deep love that displays love through actions, rather than just words. The moment Jane learns of his disease, she chooses to continue her life with him. For years, she patiently and tirelessly stands by his side, feeding him, wheeling him and cleaning after him—yet loving every part of him.

Movies often romanticize this idea of love being passionate kisses in the rain and perfect princess weddings. In actuality, love is standing by another person, through all tragedy.

However, Director of the movie David Marsh took an incredible story and created something a bit bland that desired the originality this movie needed. Well told and potentially Oscar award winning, nonetheless, this film had me tearing up at moments. As great as the plot was, the movie was in need of a better director worthy of the performances these actors gave. He glides over the important parts of Hawking’s life as if they are small details added and not needed for elaboration. The Theory of Everything lacks a certain intensity and complexity of emotion that was needed to tell Hawking’s miracle of a life.

This lack of detail is displayed when Jane takes interest in a new lover—Jonathan Hellyer Jones, played by Charlie Cox, and Stephen goes for Elaine Mason, played by Maxine Peake. Marsh manages to move past these scenes so quickly that I was left utterly confused and slightly irritated. It’s as if his attempt to veer from a perfect image of this love-at-first-sight couple is avoided at all costs, rather than telling a more accurate depiction.

No director can illustrate the complex character role of Stephen Hawking and the way he inspired others— as hard as they may try. At least Director David Marsh gave it a good shot.

Stephen Hawking’s story in ‘The Theory of Everything’ sheds tears, pulls at heartstrings and inspires.

Full article via The South End:


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