By Darren Chan Keng Leong (Singapore)
Another film that is deserving of both praise and awards is The Theory of Everything which is beautifully choreographed and directed by James Marsh and adapted from the memoir which was written by Jane Wilde Hawking. The memoir titled, “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen” deals with her bittersweet relationship with her ex-husband world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking.
The film also garnered many positive reviews and has received five Academy Award nominations, including best picture, best Actor for Eddie Redmayne who plays Stephen Hawking and best actress for Felicity Jones who plays Jane Wilde Hawking. Eddie Redmayne who plays the lead character of Stephen Hawking does a remarkable job in portraying the emotions that the character goes through from being normal to succumbing to the degenerative motor neuron disease. The essence of the film lies with the two main characters that have such great chemistry and connection that is hard not to be able to relate to them in terms of their feelings and emotions through the course of the film.
The opening scene of the film centres on student Stephen Hawking and his relationship with Jane Wilde who falls in love with Stephen due to his ideologies and wit. Jane is an arts student while Stephen is a science student but soon, they begin a relationship which will impact the life of Stephen. It touches on the strength and complexity of falling in love with that special someone and the happiness that occurs over time.
Stephen was particularly interested in black holes and that it was instrumental in the creation of the universe and wanted to do his thesis on the subject of time. Eddie’s performance in bringing out the various emotions during the film is remarkable as it shows the progress of the motor neuron disease that Stephen suffers from and how he almost wanted to give up on himself as he felt useless and unwanted. The disease seemed like a defeat for Stephen but with the encouragement of his fiancée Jane, she encourages Stephen and promises that she will stay by his side.
Felicity Jones also does a remarkable job in portraying the desperation that is felt as the film progresses as she tries very hard to make provisions and sacrifices for Stephen’s condition and the want to be with him. She refuses to give up on Stephen as she sees him as a huge inspiration and having a brilliant mind that his ideas are able to change the world someday. However, I felt that the film’s main focus was the relationships he had with the people around him, but the focus could be been better focused on his research as well which will help the audience understand Stephen’s scientific concept in greater educational detail.
The film with its beautiful soundtrack and superb cast would make Stephen Hawking proud that through the obstacles that he had encountered, it has made him a better person. The film focuses on love, friendships and relationships which is what brings people together. Audiences who watch the film would be moved by the emotional dialogue and scenes between both Stephen and Jane as he struggles with his ailment and she struggles in keeping the family together. With both serious and light-hearted moments, it brings out the love story of the film but falls a tad short on the biopic part of the film.
The Theory of Everything focuses on the early years of Stephen Hawking and is a heart-warming tribute to him that he has contributed so much to science and is an inspiration to others. It is a highly recommendable film to watch for those that want to know more about Stephen Hawking and his life story in a nutshell.
The final scene is so beautiful to see the sweet reunion between Jane and Stephen that it echoes his sentiments of wishing to have the ability to rewind time and it shows the first scene when both of them meet. For Jane and Stephen, the only theory that matters is the both of them that they remain close friends till today.