Thursday, 15 January 2015

Movie Review: The Theory of Everything

Here's my review of the latest movie I've seen: The Theory of Everything.
The Theory of Everything is a dramatic biopic portraying the life of Stephen Hawking and his relationship with his first wife, Jane Wilde Hawking. It is based on the book "Travelling to Infinity - My Life With Stephen" which Jane has written.
It stars Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking and Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking. 

The movie begins with the first encounter of Stephen and Jane at Cambridge, and shows how their relationship evolves while Stephen is trying to find a topic for his doctoral study. Soon he learns about his illness ALS, or motor neurone disease, which gradually makes him lose his physical control over his body, and his ability to move and speak. In spite of Stephen trying to push her away, Jane stays with him, even though Stephen is predicted a life expectancy of no more than 2 more years. The couple gets closer and then marries. Stephen exceeds all expectations by living way longer than the predicted 2 years, but still his illness progresses and his condition worsens. All the while Jane supports him and gives up every personal freedom for him and later also their children. Even though she does not show it to Stephen, Jane slowly loses her spirit at this self-sacrificing duty. In the meantime Stephen continues his works as a physicist, and makes a name for himself in the world with his theories. Their relationship evolves further and they start to somewhat disunite, especially when Jonathan comes into their lives. He proves himself to be a great help for the family, but at the same time starts to develop feelings for Jane. Stephen gets help after a seizure that effectively made him lose his speech, and learns to communicate with the help of a computer-generated speech programme. The end of the movie shows how, even after their divorce, Jane and Stephen are still very fond of each other and are of huge importance in each others' lives.

The movie, being based on the true story of the Hawkings, is made in a wholly comprehensible way, which makes it simple for the viewers to relate to the characters and their tragic story. It is incredibly moving and makes you anticipate eagerly the continuation of the story.
It covers every possible feeling, from the joy of the young love and the triumph of success all the way to the desperation of failure and helplessness. Some parts are utterly sad, and can definitely make you cry. But it's not a sad movie, sadness is just one aspect shown in it. It's full of excitement and sorrow at the same time. And that is one factor that makes it such a special movie, because it does not portray this story in a one-sided way at all.

The cast of the film does a wonderful job at making this movie as relatable and intense as it is.
Eddie Redmayne is outstanding, his portrayal of Stephen Hawking is unprecedented and utterly brilliant. He manages to depict him in a very realistic way that never feels overdone or unnatural. He adapts the peculiarities of the motor neurone disease in such a manner that makes them understandable and evokes the empathy of the viewers.
Felicity Jones gives an equally stunning performance as Jane Hawking, and perfectly conveys the strength of her character. She expresses the feeling of wanting to help, but at the same time reaching her limits and possibilities, and the subtle variations between those two sides, in a wonderful way. 
Both leading roles have been nominated for an Oscar, which is very much deserved in my opinion.

In conclusion, The Theory of Everything is an extraordinary movie full of emotions of all kinds. It is very touching and definitely worth a view. Personally, I enjoyed it very much and at the same time it gave me lots of reasons to contemplate. It touched me, and made me reflect, which is exactly what a good movie should do.

Has anyone of you seen The Theory of Everything? Did you like it?

xx, Misch

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