Howdy ladies and gents, time for the first new film review of 2015 and we start off with The Theory of Everything. Now this film technically came out last year for the US, but us UK residents had to until New Year’s Day to finally see it. Since the first time I saw the trailer in the cinema I knew I wanted to watch this film, plus my best friend over at Musings highly recommended the film so then I had to watch it. So now that I’ve seen it today I’m ready to pass judgement.
The story for the film can be summed up as the following:
“The film follows the life of Stephen Hawking as it covers his diagnosis of motor neuron disease, his success in physics and his relationship with Jane Wilde Hawking.”
I thought the story in this film was very nice, informative and beautiful. As a person who has been aware of the existence of Stephen Hawking from childhood, but never really knew anything personal about him, this film was very intriguing. As an audience we get to see the life of Hawking before his illness, learn how smart he was, how he came up with his theories and how fell in love and got family despite his disease. But we also get to see things from the perspective of Jane Wilde Hawking, the person who was by his side from the beginning, how she helped him and had to deal with the complications of a relationship with Stephen. What I appreciated about the story was the fact that it did show a lot of the internal struggle that both Stephen and Jane had to go through and didn’t shy away from some of the hard times these two had to endure. Obviously because of Hawking’s disease, the film can be fairly melancholy and there are a few special instances that left me almost wanting to shed a tear or so, however the film could also be quite humourous at times and I was surprised how light-hearted it could be. And there is one moment in the film where Hawking gives a monologue and it was one of the most beautiful and inspiring things I have ever heard and it made me want to cry. If I have any quarrels with the film I would say that I felt like there were moments which focused on Jane who I wasn’t as interested in seeing and overall because of all the rave reviews I was expecting to fall in love with the film, but I didn’t entirely.
When it comes to the cast the performances were all very strong and great to watch. Firstly there’s Eddie Redmayne who turns in an absolutely brilliant performance as Stephen Hawking. You can see that Stephen is a kind, smart, perceptive and ambitious man, and even in the face of adversity with his disease he continues live on, theorize and become famous. Redmayne has been one of those actors I have paid attention to especially after I saw him in Les Misérables, but in this film he pretty much gives a top-class performance as he portrays a person who is in their prime and then slowly deteriorate and watching Redmayne slowly change and watching all of the small touches whether it was the way he spoke, positioned his body, moved his hands or looked around with his eyes, it was bloody impressive. Not to be overshadowed Felicity Jones does a wonderful performance as Jane Wilde Hawking. Jane is woman who is beautiful, charming and very supportive or Stephen throughout all of his endeavours, however in their relationship you can see the strain and the toll its taking on her and the complications that take place behind the scenes.
Charlie Cox as Jonathan Jones was the piece of the puzzle I did not expect to see in this film, however I’m glad that he was there as Cox does great in this role and I have to say that when I saw Cox I was like “Oh wow, that’s Owen from Boardwalk Empire! It is totally bizarre, but I’m loving his performance.” David Thewlis was great as Dennis Sciam, Dennis is one of the people who has known Stephen since he was much younger and was only coming up with his theories about the universe back in university and has been one of his biggest supporters. Thewlis is always good in most films he’s in and I think he has a great screen presence whenever he’s around. And then there’s Simon McBurney who did a good job as Frank Hawking. Maxine Peake was just delightful as Elaine Mason, while Christian McKay’s performance as Roger Penrose was also great to see. And finally I really liked Harry Lloyd as Brian and Emily Watson as Beryl Wilde.
In conclusion The Theory of Everything is a film I was glad to watch as it was very engaging, emotional and quite inspirational. I do feel like I expected a little more from the film considering the hype surrounding it, however, with great performances from a cast like this, there is little to complain about.
So have you seen The Theory of Everything and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are, be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next film review, Laters! 😀