The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s.Little was expected from Stephen Hawking, a bright but shiftless student of cosmology, given just two years to live f...more
The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s.Little was expected from Stephen Hawking, a bright but shiftless student of cosmology, given just two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at 21 years of age. He became galvanized, however, by the love of fellow Cambridge student, Jane Wilde, and he went on to be called the successor to Einstein, as well as a husband and father to their three children. Over the course of their marriage as Stephen’s body collapsed and his academic renown soared, fault lines were exposed that tested the lineaments of their relationship and dramatically altered the course of both of their lives. less
“The Theory of Everything is a bittersweet love story made perfect by its flawless performances. ”
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‘I have loved you’, Jane Hawking (Felicity Jones) tells him, exasperated, after the years of struggle in her married life. Doctors gave Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) 2 years, when they find out he has a slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or motor neuron disease, but he continues to fight one, even till date, supported for a very long time by his wife, Jane. Theory of Everything, an adaptation from Jane’s book isn’t so much about physics as it is about the genius' journey and his wife’s. The man who refused Knighthood from the Queen, says beautifully to his wife, then married to Jonathan, who supports her and helps her deal with Stephen’s disability, looks at his 3 children and tells her, ‘Look what we made’.
With a zest for life and a small, naughty twinkle in his life, well portrayed by Eddie, Stephen moves on from writing an impressive thesis on time, to get his PhD and then working to disprove it, a journey laced with his own physical struggles and his belief in science more than religion. The movie, though is a disappointment of sorts, not bad, but disappointing considering the story of one of the most eminent scientists of our time, the man whose bestseller, ‘A Brief History of Time’ sold millions of copies. The movie is slow, which is expected, for an emotional love tale. Nevertheless, the balance between science and emotions misses out somewhere, in James Marsh’s attempt to humanize the story and make it connect with the audiences. You’ll love the bespectacled Stephen and the way he pursues the love of his life, Jane. You’ll some of his funny, witty remarks. But, then somewhere between his disease and Jane’s fading spirit blended with her feelings towards Jonathan, the movie loses its edge and gets dull.
It is a realistic love tale, generally bright, thanks to deliberate colorful theming from the cinematographer Benoit Delhomme shows that true unconditional love is beyond judgment and is all about being happy. Everyone sacrifices a bit, Stephen, Jane and Jonathan and all end up being enriched. That probably was the director’s definitive bottomline, the life force of the tale he wanted to weave with the backdrop of physics. The Cambridge moments are interesting, some intriguing even. Stephen’s presentations to eminent scientists, including his mentor Dennis Sciama(David Thewlis, who played our favorite Lupin in Harry Potter series) will be particularly interesting for those who have read about Stephen previously. The director uses some fascinating science conversations, unfortunately cut short out of consideration for the audience. A big drawback of the movie could be the lack of subtitles, especially in India, where it is hard to follow accents, leave alone following them when Stephen speaks in his drawling, mumbled words.
In many ways, Stephen who is still working on the Theory that explains everything in the world, quantum as well as colossal objects and their behaviors, is only as much a protagonist in the movie as Jane is. It isn’t so much about the Theory of Everything as it is about the family life of the man who is working for it. You get glimpses into his life and into the house of his parents, but there isn’t much psychoanalysis or judging going on really. It is just a detached neutral look at two beings who spent a lot of time together, struggles and love. Stephen pretty much has been shown the same way, same character, same joy for life. Jane though, changes from the starry eyed romantic to the mature lady who eventually understands how difficult life could be if it decides to go on testing you, for ‘so many years’.
Eddie Redmayne and Felicity give fabulous performances, justifying their nominations. They are well supported by a good OST by Johann Johannsson, soft, without overplaying it. It is a movie for people, who want to believe in hopeless romanticism, but beyond that it is just an average movie!