Thanks to Universal Pictures Australia we had the chance to see The Theory of Everything before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself.
If there’s anything about this film, it’s the ability to realise that there is always hope in any situation at any given moment. There’s something about The Theory of Everything that makes it a heartwarming film and surely enough, it’ll make people think and feel many things in terms of where they are at the moment in their life, making them realise that life is too short to dwell on the possibilities of death or having moments of self pity when it comes to the curve balls life has to offer. Most people find comfort in religion because they believe that some powerful being like God exists; that it enables them to find something worth living for, bringing meaning and purpose into their life, but for Stephen Hawking, science and his empowering theories in physics shaped the way people saw how Earth was created and what made us exist in the first place.
Directed by James Marsh (known for Man On Wire and Shadow Dancer) as well as screenplay written by Anthony McCarten, the biographical-drama film centralises the story of Stephen Hawking’s life, mainly focusing on his continuous battle with his incurable motor neuron disease, his relationship with his wife Jane and family, and the successes he has managed to achieve in terms of his theories that have contributed to the study of Physics; creating an impact on the world more than he has ever realised.
It can be noted down that Eddie Redmayne (Les Misérables) does an outstanding job of playing the role of Stephen Hawking. Through his placid characterisation in the very beginning of the film, the audience can see the ways in which Hawking’s physical form is dramatically altered from the motor neuron disease. From his inability to walk to the moments where he is left inaudible, Redmayne’s acting skills are honestly believable and true-to-life. Supporting actor, Felicity Jones (Like Crazy), who played Jane Hawking saw each triumph and obstacle Stephen went through. Throughout the film, she is seen as supportive, strong-minded and caring for him and his children, and it’s reflective to say the least that the pair share a bond with one another that makes them appreciate what they have gone through together in their not-so-normal lifestyle.
Despite the dark undertones of the film and the impact of the motor neuron disease of Hawking, there are moments where some British humour is incorporated to lighten the load of the situation. Despite the course of dramatic events that unfold in each transitional stage, we are able to see the good-heartedness of the characters and what they truly bring to the table.
In terms of the depth of the film, it brings meaning and hope that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though Hawking went through such turmoil with his progressive paralysation in his body, the audience can appreciate the fact that the single most important organ was not affected at all; his brain. His ongoing passion for science and his perseverance of being able to continue on and share his theories to like-minded people was what maintained his character and his cause to the world. It’s the realness and the honesty of the film which many will appreciate because they are able to witness that although Hawking’s physical form has changed, the essence of who he is as a person remains the same and for that to be fleshed out into the film, transcends into a beauty one can only understand through the courage of his eyes.
There are moments in the film where tears will be shed as well as times where it’s tough to watch the rest of it, but nonetheless, it’s a film that shows the importance of being there for your family and to love with no boundaries. There is no stronger force in the world than love and even Stephen Hawking knows that. Despite being a man who is strong-willed in terms of his theories in Physics, the film illustrates the life of Hawking, displaying his resilient attitude towards each learning curve and being a medical marvel as doctors confirmed that he only had two years to live, only to have proven them wrong. Through impeccable character work and empowering scriptwork, it’s safe to say you’ll walk out of the cinema feeling like you’ve seen the bigger picture and to appreciate that no matter what situation you’ve been through, your attitude in life is a reflection on how you live for yourself.
The Theory of Everything – In Cinemas January 29