While The Theory Of Everything may not do anything groundbreaking technically, the film packs a massive emotional punch as it depicts the rise of Stephen Hawking’s brilliance in this biopic. Part romance and part drama, the fascinating look at Stephen’s life is accompanied with a good soundtrack, a fantastic performance by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and a swift pace to the storytelling.
Starting with Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) as a child, the film moves through the different times in his life, with particular emphasis on the uphill struggle he and his wife Jane Hawking (Felicity Jones) have to endure as the crippling motor neuron disease takes hold. There’s some really heartbreaking scenes here, with one in particular seeing Stephen trying to climb the stairs to see his son only to find his legs just simply won’t let him, leaving him midway up trying to remain calm while speaking to his child. There are numerous scenes like this dotted throughout the film and its this particular insight into the hardships the illness Stephen has had to deal with from a young age that makes the film shine.
Its worth mentioning both Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones that play Stephen and Jane Hawking. Their performance elevates this film far beyond the slight structural issues that hold the film back. They’re both believable in their roles, with a deep focus on Jane’s difficulties in dealing with Stephen’s condition whilst simultaneously raising their child. You really empathise with her and although she struggles, somehow they both find a way to cope. Without these two actors the film would not have been as memorable as it is, and its one of the main reasons that The Theory Of Everything is such a solid biography.
Having said that though, if there’s one negative then its with the over-reaching emphasis on the romance between the two lead characters. As a personal preference, it would have been nice to see a little bit more focus on Stephen’s work and genius mindset that led him to his theories, with the romance between the two characters overshadowing this aspect. Then again, this is a film intended for mass appeal and with the way The Theory Of Everything makes you care about the characters through the acting and well written script, you can see why.
With excellent performances from the two lead actors, a well written script boasting some heartbreaking scenes and a fascinating look into Stephen’s life and relationship, there really isn’t much more you could ask for in a biography. It would have been nice to see a little more of Stephen’s professional career; an emphasis on his written theories and mindset with his work wouldn’t go amiss. Its only a minor point though and this excellent biography is one that’s funny, heartbreaking and insightful throughout. Its certainly worth checking out and does the brilliance of Stephen Hawking justice.
Verdict - 8/10