I’m a bit torn as to how I feel after watching The Theory of Everything. Don’t get me wrong – it does its job at being an easily enjoyable, feel-good movie. But the film is so pedestrian that there is nothing that makes this uniquely Stephen Hawking.
Hawking, one of the pioneering minds of theoretical physics, is played adequately by Eddie Redmayne (of Les Miserables and soon to be seen in Jupiter Ascending). He does a really decent job of mimicking Stephen’s mannerisms and cheekiness but it is just shy of making it truly memorable.
The supporting cast is made up of a who’s who of British cinema, led by Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spiderman 2) as Jane Hawking, his supportive but rather clueless wife. Her exposition felt weak as she went from extremely supportive fiancé to dissatisfied wife in a matter of scenes. There was hardly any time for her character to develop into someone whom the audience could relate to.
This goes for a lot of the supporting cast too with David Thewlis (The Fifth Estate) as Hawking’s professor and mentor and Emily Watson (War Horse) as Jane’s mother. They seem relegated to mere cameos with just walk-on lines. The only other person who has some significant screen time is Harry Lloyd (Manhattan), but even he disappears half way through the movie.
But my biggest issue with the movie is the treatment of Hawking’s life story, which could have been handled a lot better. His story is so unique, moving and special, that it is almost an injustice to give it such a normal and bland treatment.This is Stephen Hawking we’re talking about here: literally one of the greatest scientists ever.
Even if the idea was not to focus on his scientific achievements or delve into his breakthroughs, they could have at least shown how his work effected some change in the world. At least that way ,we would get a sense of how important a person he is to the world.
If you are looking for a feel-good movie to unwind to on date night, this would be the one for you. It definitely won’t bog you down with scientific jargon or complex philosophies that will leave you questioning your very existence at the roll of the credits.
It’s more likely to leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy. At the end of the day, The Theory of Everything is a love story that just so happens to feature a character named Stephen Hawking.
The Theory of Everything is playing in cinemas now. Tell us what you think of the movie!