THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
The Theory of Everything is brought to you by academy award winning director James Marsh (the documentary film Man on a Wire) is a nicely crafted, mundane, bland biopic about the relationship between Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife Jane (Felicity Jones). Stephen Hawking is the famous, renowned astrophysicist who discovered theories of time and the black hole. The movie starts out with Stephen meeting Jane and takes us awkwardly along the courtship and discovery of love between these two.
At 21 years of age, Stephen received a world crushing diagnosis of a neuron disease, similar to Lou Gehrig’s disease and given only two years to live. Hawking’s real life story is an inspiration and this movie attempts to bring that story to life as we watch Hawking’s body deteriorate and his mind continue to operate and flourish with the discoveries of theories about time culminating in the most prolific book of all times, “A Brief History of Time”.
The film is based on a memoir, by Hawking’s first wife, Jane so it came as no surprise that the film was more about Jane than Stephen. Jane is a woman of grace, strength, strong beliefs and a subdued force to be reckoned with. Falling madly in love they marry even after she’s given Stephen’s diagnosis. She tells the doctor firmly and with unbelievable conviction that Stephen will live. The film focuses on the challenges of caring for hawking, raising his 3 children and the strains on the marriage brought about by the challenges of his condition.
The movie fails to show how this disease truly affected Stephen, who is portrayed beautifully by Redmayne, except for the minor inconveniences of being bound to a wheel chair, deteriorating to the point where he’s unable to talk, but yet, he can still procreate. Instead, the movie focuses on the challenges of loving the man in the wheelchair. We are left wondering why Jane stayed married and devoted to Hawking up until she realized Hawking fell in love with the woman hired to be his caretaker. Only then did she leave to pursue Johnathan (Charlie Cox) her friend, for whom she developed feelings for and sought solace with.
This film is marked with extraordinary performances by both Redmayne and Jones. For such an extraordinary person, Hawking’s story falls flat while Jane’s story stirs your soul and tugs at your heartstrings which make you either root for her or admonish her for her loyalty and everlasting suffering. The film ends on a high note but the tone throughout makes you wonder whether the theory was about anything at all.
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Emma Watson, Charlie Cox
Director: James Marsh
Company: Focus Features
Now Showing: In Theaters
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (thematic elements and suggested material)