Film Review: The Theory of Everything
Twee drama The Theory of Everything is well acted, and looks the part. James Marsh’s film strive for sentiment is not wholly successful however.
Whilst a student at Cambridge, Stephen Hawking meets Literature student Jane Wilde. As their relationship develops, Stephen is diagnosed with motor neurone disease. The couple must overcome these difficulties, whilst Stephen pursues his promising career…
Director James Marsh offers a pleasant portrait of a relationship in The Theory of Everything. The film depicts the depth of feeling between Stephen and Jane. In this sense, it feels authentic.
The Theory of Everything touches upon Stephen Hawking’s career as punctuations on a journey, but does not excavate into his theories in any detail. Instead, the film concentrates on the couple’s relationship in this period. The nature of Stephen’s illness is a key factor in the relationship, and this is dealt with using physicality more than anything, and humour as appropriate.
The Theory of Everything is twee in its style and sentiment. Perhaps the depiction of Stephen and Jane’s marriage is realistic, but it is completely nice. In cinematic terms, this means that there is no strong dramatic curve. At times, Marsh and screenwriter Anthony McCarten aim at emotion, but deliver pleasantry. This would not necessarily be a bad thing, but the film lacks a hook which would make it truly engaging.
Eddie Redmayne offers a convincing performance as Stephen Hawking. The physicality of his performance appears authentic; he seems to embody the well known character. Felicity Jones is solid as Jane, and Charlie Cox offers decent support as Jonathan. Costumes and art direction go a long way to set the scene.
Those expecting a biopic of the famed scientist might be disappointed by The Theory of Everything. The film is a romantic drama first and foremost. The Theory of Everything is congenial, even if it lacks dramatic punch.