At the Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012, Stephen Hawking famously said: “There should be no boundaries to human endeavour.” This is something that the theoretical physicist has demonstrated throughout his lifetime, as clearly depicted in James Marsh’s latest biopic “The Theory of Everything”.
Adapted from Jane Hawking’s memoir “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen”, The Theory of Everything follows Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) as a University of Cambridge student, where he falls in love with Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). However, after one of his early breakthroughs in physics, Hawking is diagnosed with motor neuron disease.
Despite only being given a couple of years to live, Hawking is determined to carry on with his work with his newly-married wife by his side. Nevertheless, the effects of his condition proves too much for the couple, as Jane develops feelings for the charming church organist Jonathan Jones (Charlie Cox) and Stephen falls in love with his carer. It’s an inspiring and delightful story that has brilliantly been brought to life on the big screen.
The success of the film pivots on the central performance from Eddie Redmayne, whose portrayal of Stephen Hawking is unbelievably realistic throughout. Redmayne’s impersonation is faultless, so much so that you’re genuinely convinced that it’s the man himself at times. Don’t be surprised if Redmayne bags a number of awards off the back of this.
On a similar note, Felicity Jones is excellent in her supporting role as Jane Wilde/Hawking, also delivering an outstanding performance. Her depiction of an overworked mother who is struggling to cope is compelling and is a pleasure to watch.
One of the dangers of The Theory of Everything was the inaccessible nature of the science – a factor that is crucial in Hawking’s life story. Thankfully, the film doesn’t overcomplicate things, opting for well thought-out analogies, such as the use of potatoes on a fork and the swirl of cream in a mug of coffee, to explain the theories.