Review: The Theory of Everything

Given how long this film’s been out, it may be a little late for a review, but as I’ve only just seen it, why not?

The Theory of Everything is a movie about the life of Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his first wife Jane (Felicity Jones). Indeed, given that this film is based on her autobiography, in some ways it’s almost more her story than his, which is not a complaint.

The story follows their life from Hawking’s arrival at Cambridge through to 1989, when he was awarded the Companion of Honour medal by Queen Elizabeth. Early parts deal with Hawking’s initial diagnosis with early-onset Motor Neurone Disease in 1963, him being told he had two years to live and Jane’s determination to stick with him and marry him, not knowing quite what a long haul she was in for with him.

Hawking, left and Redmayne as Hawking, right

Hawking, left and Redmayne as Hawking, right

It tracks their lives not only through his scientific breakthroughs, but through his worsening medical condition, their children and family life and Jane’s attempts to hold onto who she was amid all this. There are heartbreaking moments such as Jane and friend Jonathan falling for each other, but being unable to be together (until after the Hawkings divorced, at least), and a tough decision when Hawking is at death’s door.

The film is very sympathetic to both main characters and really drives home elements that I hadn’t even thought about, such as Stephen’s charm and impish sense of humour, and Jane’s steadfastness in what must have sometimes seemed an impossible situation.

Obviously, elements of reality have been fictionalised, but the film really does tell what is both a heartwarming and yet heartbreaking story. The leads, as well as the supporting cast, are excellent, and the writing and production really draws the viewer into the film.

If you haven’t seen this film yet, I highly recommend that you do.

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