Watching The Theory of Everything is a very emotional cinema going experience.
The life and times of theoretical physicist, cosmologist and million selling author Stephen Hawking is told via a screenplay based on a book by his first wife of thirty years, Jane Wilde. We are given a window into his life from his early years and get to spend time with him before the revenges of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) took over his body.
While the force of the man’s will and his defiance of the medical profession’s estimate of the time of his demise is very inspiring, it’s so hard to watch such a brilliant man struggle with tasks we all take so for granted. The film also shows how lucky he was to have the love and care of his wife Jane who had to muster an unsurmountable amount of courage and energy to take care of Hawking and their young family.
The acting is amazing as Eddie Redmayne (Les Misérables, My Week with Marilyn) transforms himself in the ALS revenged Hawking with sheer acting ability and a minimal amount of prosthetics, it’s a stunning job. Felicity Jones is also outstanding as his wife Jane and the rest of the cast is excellent as well. The screenplay is very intense the first ¾ of the film and then the last reel lightens slightly with some very humorous moments. The effect is one that relaxes the audience and allows them to feel more part of Hawking’s ultimate triumph, that of keeping his humanity and sense of humour throughout such an ordeal.
This is a great film but one that cannot be approached lightly. It demands a lot from the audience but burns itself into your mind and makes you feel so fortunate to have even the small things in life.