The Theory of Everything – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

theory of everythingThe Theory of Everything – 4/5 – In any typical prologue, I have given an explanation of sorts for the film I’m reviewing.  This is not a film I can come up with a typical prologue.  With so many films I have seen, there are times when a film that finds its heart can get lost in translation.  There are times where we have films that know what they are, and stand on that point.  These films do their best to infuse raw ‘poignant’ feelings to create something stands on its merits of telling a tale that’s connected on so many levels.  This is where The Theory of Everything comes in.  It’s a film that doesn’t have a cohesive plot or typical narrative, but focuses on its heart; The Hawkings and how they put aside all struggles and learn to find true purpose to love.  The Theory of Everything is a film that may not be at first, but is truly an amazing love story about life.

Premise:  The life and times of one famous physicist (Stephen Hawking) and his companion/wife (Jane Hawking)

This film focuses on the relationship of the Hawkings.  Here, you have:

Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking

Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking

Between the two, you watch an ‘evolution’ of sorts.  In this, you see how there’s a focus on two things; how both fight through the struggles of their marriage, and how both ‘individually’ struggle with finding purpose for their existence in this life, for each other and what it means to fight for ‘true love’.  Eddie Redmayne does a masterful job as Stephen Hawking.  He does a great job in capturing the brilliance of this individual as well as his struggles with his neurological disease.  He is enrapturing the audience with this performance; physically and emotionally.  He shows someone that looks at everything analytically, but also sees how all scientific methods intertwine on an emotional level.  His intuitive approach creates both whimsical and heartfelt situations.  You feel a part of this man’s life, one where you feel as if you’re there with him as he interacts with his classmates, colleagues and Jane.  Eddie gives an Oscar caliber performance.  As his companion, partner and lover, Felicity Jones captures the essences of Jane Hawking.  Through Jones, you see what her struggles and how she deals with them, living with a man of his stature.  Through her eyes, you not only see how much she cares for this man, but also wrangle with that companionship.  There is a strong test of love and faith, seeing how the strength of ‘love’ and agony of living with this man is one conflicting but endearing.  You see her emotional depth evenly woven, as the rawness of her interactions is deeply moving.  When these two individuals are together on screen, they create magic.  Their relationship is both inspiring but relevant.  The grounded mentality that you find not only captures the essence of what makes these individuals ‘go’, but how each seeks the betterment for both.  Outside of them, the supporting cast is not really up to par with their performances.  In the secondary cast, you have the basic ‘background’ flavor for this ‘journey’ in the life of the Hawkings.

The direction of this film is one you would find in a typical biographical film.  There is no real direction or driven narrative.  The progression of this kind of film is dictated by the main character(s); and how they go through life on a certain journey.  On the surface, this is what this film is.  Even with a very ‘typical’ approach, what make this film stand out is the main two characters and their approach to love.  As you watch Stephen and Jane Hawking throughout this film, you watch as the complexity of their relationship evolves.  This characterization of their lives through their love drives how both these people live, breathes and makes decisions.  As these two go along this journey in life, you watch as they tackle many uphill battles together.  No matter if it is dealing with the complexity of Stephen’s theories, confronting ALS or how each must sacrificing for one another, you get to see the strength of the overall ‘ideas’ of what makes a relationship, and how it is driven throughout this film.  One of the sincere things you get out of these ‘memoir’ style moments is that the overall approach on ‘love’ not having any bounds creates the irony of some ‘end’ coming.  No matter how analytical Stephen gets or how emotionally Jane gets, the strength that holds them throughout can also drive them apart.  They know what sacrifices they must take, and both of them do this at various points in the film.  The ultimate sacrifice comes in the climax, where love leads them to deal with an approach of living their lives a certain but better way.  In this most heart-wrenching scene, everything that you’ve watched along the way has come to head, and that ‘poignant’ merit that has been bubbling underneath all shows its mark.  As the film trickles into its epilogue, the craftsmanship of this screenplay is found in the irony of the direction.  In not having a strong, driven narrative, the film finds its focus in the depth of two lives crossing decades, and how their ‘love’ drives every motive within this film.  The true story really takes a hold, and with a sincere and mature approach to character development, we have a film that leaves a mark on the heart.

The visual approach of the film is one of subtlety.  The cinematography falls to the background, allowing everything to be dictated by the two main characters.  With this, it both drowns any aspect that could be used by the visuals, but at the same time helps it stand on its merits of being a true story.  There is no ‘bleeding effect’ construing fact from fiction.  The score helps add to the subtle tone, but doesn’t hinder any progression of the film.

The Theory of Everything is film built on nothing more than its poignant merits.  The markings of what ‘love is’ and how that is involved in any relationship stands strong, even for the Hawkings.  If you’re fan of biography films, and like to see a life story that has no bounds, this is one for you.  You will not be disappointed.

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