FILM REVIEW: The Theory of Everything

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory Of Everything.
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory Of Everything.

The Theory of Everything (12A), starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, screening at Alnwick Playhouse (Friday, February 20, and Tuesday, March 3 - both SOLD OUT) and Berwick Maltings (Tuesday, February 24; Wednesday, February 25; and Friday, March 13)

What James Marsh delivers us with The Theory Of Everything, is a charmingly profound and earnest biopic of arguably, the most intelligent man on the planet – the brilliant physicist and bestselling author Stephen Hawking.

Eddie Redmayne is at the forefront of this story with Felicity Jones at his side as Hawking’s first wife, Jane Wilde.

Together, the two bring an incredibly endearing and heart-breaking tale to life, with flawless performances and an unbeatable chemistry, following Hawking’s struggle with the development of motor-neuron disease and Jane’s struggle with watching the man she loves turn into a less able version of himself, with a robotic voice and a life in a wheelchair.

Interestingly, The Theory Of Everything tells Hawking’s story from the perspective of Jane, with an honest script from Anthony McCarten based on Jane’s book Travelling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen.

Although Redmayne is unbelievably believable as Hawking (if he hadn’t received an Oscar nomination, I would have quit), it is Jones’ performance as Jane that really gives us an insight into the difficult yet brilliant relationship Hawking and Wilde had together.

The real trauma we see here is not how Hawking coped with his disease, but it is how Jane coped with Hawking’s disease over 30 years of marriage and the deliverance of three children along the way.

Redmayne presents Stephen with candour and a quiet eccentricity, introducing us to the man behind the science – a person of humour, honesty and most noticeably, strength. His performance is undeniably faultless, not once do you feel like Redmayne hadn’t pushed himself to both his mental and physical limits.

Similarly, Jones tackles Jane’s resilient yet soft nature with grit and sincerity, delivering truly poignant scenes either with Redmayne or on her own. Although she is already a well-esteemed actress, her portrayal here is sure to make her a household name.

In ways, it is nice to get to know a side of Stephen that isn’t all about his scientific achievements, however these achievements are what made Stephen the legend he is today. If Marsh had drawn more emphasis on just how excellent his famous discoveries were, he would have made The Theory Of Everything exceedingly perfect, rather than just perfect.

For those who are not all that ‘clued up’ on Hawking and his theories, this film falls short in teaching us, which is a shame – albeit a small one.

This movie tells the remarkable story of Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde with dignity and heart, creating an outstanding biopic that shall live as a classic in years to come.

An ordinary telling of two extraordinary lives, The Theory Of Everything is an almost impeccable, moving drama that is alleviated by strong performances, simplistic direction and inspirational messages that are bound to stick with audiences forever – ‘while there is life, there is hope’.

The Theory Of Everything (12A), directed by James Marsh; starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior; written by Anthony McCarten (screenplay), Jane Wilde Hawking (book); genre – drama, biography, romance.

Screenings: Alnwick Playhouse, 7.30pm, Friday, February 20; 7.30pm, Tuesday, March 3 (both screenings are SOLD OUT).

Berwick Maltings, 1pm, Tuesday, February 24; 7.30pm, Wednesday, February 25; 7pm, Friday, March 13.