The film opens with the young Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) in the mid-60s, where he is a brilliant physics student at Cambridge, but also being one lazy and procrastinating gentleman. His professor Dennis Sciama (David Thewlis) sees the potential in him and always encourages him to think bigger. At a party one night, the young Hawking catches the fancy, pretty and radiant poetry student named Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), and they soon start a romantic relationship. But the happiness is cut short when Hawking is diagnosed with motor neuron disease or ALS, with doctor gives him a prognosis of two years. Even with the effects of the disease are hampering his physical abilities, Hawking’s mind is still exploding with radical ideas, but for the best of all, Jane is here to stay as they battle through his disease, the difficult life and the theological differences ahead.
James Marsh delivers a compassionate and occasionally an emotional ride story that makes Eddie Redmayne’s transformation of the character is so believable and so worth it. But there are also a lot of moments when the film decides to play it too safe. Much like many other biopics, it falls into the usual template of highlighting the key moments and milestones in the titular character timelines, and it does little to actually dig deeper beyond its borders of conventional. “The Theory of Everything” is, nevertheless, still a well-made biopic that contents the kind of materials it supposed to tell and show. Otherwise, it is hard to argue if this is truly a biopic about Stephen Hawking, or a biopic about his relationship with his ex-wife, for which I suppose is playing more like the latter.
Eddie Redmayne’s performance in this film is truly amazing and groundbreaking for the 32-year old actor. His meticulous and accurate portrayal of Stephen Hawking is admirably flawless, and I am not surprised if he does end up taking the big prize. His gradual physical deterioration is a well-carried through definition of powerful transformation of Redmayne’s acting. Equally stunning in his opposite is Felicity Jones’ take on Jane Hawking, whose performance as a brilliant, strong but vulnerable woman who shoulders the burden of the family is amazing to watch. Accompanying the two nom-worthy performances is the original score by Johann Johannsson, whose piano pieces are mesmerizing and captivating.
“The Theory of Everything” does not cover everything we need to know about Stephen Hawking but, is working like an exploration note that tackles on his family and vulnerably failed-marriage life. Some of the central plots revolving around the idea of theology versus science and Hawking’s expensive ideas are merely the accessories to the plot we see in here. Even if “The Theory of Everything” is meant to brush asides the controversial details through the conventionality, it is still a well-made biopic that is coated with saccharine and strong actings. A-
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