The Theory of Everything reveals who Stephen Hawking is beneath his genius [Review]

By YP Cadet Angus Kelleher
By YP Cadet Angus Kelleher |

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The Theory of Everything tells the incredible journey, against all odds, of Stephen Hawking and his first wife Jane Wilde.

The scientist is struggling to accept a diagnosis of motor neuron disease (MND), as he works towards a PhD in astrophysics. Wilde is trying to raise a family, complete her own doctorate and look after Hawking.

Only committed actors like Eddie Redmayne (as Hawking) and Felicity Jones (as Wilde) could have pulled off the roles. Both of them give stunning performances.

Redmayne's physicality is exceptional, with his facial expressions particularly remarkable, given that his character required very little movement. Just as impressive was Jones' conveying of her emotional struggle, particularly when she portrays Wilde's subtle frustration around her husband.

Director James Marsh offers a balanced film, with a degree of humour to contrast the powerful drama. He also limits the scientific jargon, making the film relatively easy to understand. Presenting Hawking and Wilde in equal light allows the audience a glimpse into the couple's complex relationship.

But the film drags at points, especially in the second half. Some of the protracted dinner scenes could have been cut, as they don't offer any additional insights. Given the excellent acting, this film had the potential to be greater than it is.