At The Omniplex: ‘The Theory Of Everything’

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‘The Theory of Everything’

By John Lyons

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Eddie Redmayne is outstanding as Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory Of Everything’.

IF there’s one person who I can guarantee will be at the Oscars this year, it’s Eddie Redmayne.

This week Redmayne stars as professor Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’, a film based on Jane Hawking’s memoir: “Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen”.

On paper, ‘The Theory of Everything’ may seem like a cheap exploitation of a man’s crippling illness in order to form the basis for an Oscar-contending film.

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But Hawking’s work and his lifelong battle with motor neuron disease are secondary. At the heart of ‘The Theory of Everything’ is Hawking’s marriage, and the strains which are put on it by his deteriorating physical condition and constant dedication to his work.

The film begins with Stephen and Jane awkwardly bumping into each other for the first time at Cambridge.

Though Stephen displays a shy and soft-spoken disposition, his quiet genius and gentle charm shines through, and a relationship soon forms.

But when Stephen is just 21 years old he is diagnosed with his life-threatening illness and given just two years to live. Jane coaxes him out of his spiralling depression, and agrees to marry and take care of him for the next two years.

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Stephen dedicates the remainder of his life to studying time, something that he has such precious little of.

Eddie Redmayne’s truly remarkable performance is something to be marvelled at. Throughout the film he manages to subtly convey Stephen’s gleeful zest for knowledge, his kind-hearted nature, his sense of humour and most importantly and consistently, his impenetrable optimism.

Though Redmayne may be confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak in the latter half of the film, his strong presence is ever constant.

However, as much as Redmayne is the highlight of the film, Felicity Jones’ role as Jane Hawking is of equal importance.

What starts off as a peculiar love story about a couple overcoming countless odds, quickly becomes less about highlighting love and strength and more about testing the boundaries of devotion.

Stephen’s triumphs are often overshadowed by Jane’s perpetual struggle to care for him and their children, and to ignore the feelings she’s having for Stephen’s caretaker, Jonathan.

‘The Theory of Everything’ could’ve easily ended up being a predictable biopic that just glorifies a world-renowned figure.

But instead, it is a bold, fearless film that dares to explore an array of harsh themes. ie. a hopeful man imprisoned in his lifeless body, a woman who does not receive the same amount of love and affection that she gives and a vulnerable marriage that is destined to face adversity at every turn.

What’s most astonishing is that even though ‘The Theory of Everything’ covers all these themes, often simultaneously, it still manages to be inspiring experience.


• Follow John Lyons on Twitter: @Fireinthelyons

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