I’m going to throw this out there from the start; The Theory of Everything is a brilliant film. I haven’t enjoyed a film or performance this much since Joaquin Phoenix in the equally superb ‘Her’.
The performances that both Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking and Felicity Jones as Jane is sure to win many future awards and they are certainly deserved. The main character in the film is undoubtedly Stephen, with his progress throughout life, development as an adult with a degenerative disease and brief glimpses of his mass of scientific discovery; the director strikes an eminent balance between this spectrum and allows the audience to have sheer empathy and sympathy with his plight. Redmayne stars and thrives as this character, adapting to the quirky nature of the early love life between Stephen and Jane superbly. The emotion and valour that he encompasses within the character portrayal is a delight to behold and allows for an enhanced and detailed perspective on both the struggles and real courage of Stephen’s real life story.
Despite Eddie Redmayne’s breath-taking performance, I believe the real standout star of the film is Felicity Jones as Jane. The arc in her story – from the early, shy and endearing teenager and early adult state where she first fell in love with Stephen to the later struggle with his health and wellbeing – is one that allows for the audience to follow her on her struggle and encapsulate us within her mind-set throughout. Jones plays the role quite brilliantly, effortlessly swaying between her own personal nature as the soft, nurturing wife to the later seismic fight for Stephen’s help. I won’t ruin what happens later in the film but it’s a real tear jerker of a moment – one that left the audience of the film when I visited in raptures of tears. The way that the director portrays this moment is so effective and successful in its context; when Jones mutters the words ‘I have loved you.’, it was hard to contain the human emotions after being drawn into the characters so rapidly.
In my opinion, The Theory of Everything has very few flaws. I would perhaps have liked to hear more about the scientific side of Hawking’s findings in a concise and easy to understand format, but at the same time I can vouch for the love story angle and I believe this is the better choice in terms of audience empathy and effective film-making.
In conclusion, The Theory of Everything is quite literally everything it should be. It’s passionate, emotional, awe-inspiring and uplifting. Be sure to get to the cinema imminently and check it out.