This is not a movie, where you sit back comfortably in your seat, munching popcorn & sipping soda. For the ‘The Theory of Everything’, I found myself sitting upright on my seat & almost forgot to breathe.
… what an opportunity & a privilege, to be a part of the journey of living legend, Stephen Hawking.
From the fairytale beginning in the breathtakingly beautiful University of Cambridge where we meet Stephen, played to perfection by the brilliant Eddie Redmayne (we knew this dude could sing post ‘Les Miserables’ but after his gutsy & accurate portrayal of Hawking, we are left with no doubts about his acting skills!), his carefree days at University, where despite fooling around with his friends and finding the love of his life, the pretty, talented Felicity Jones, he manages to impress his Professors & shows promise of his genius …
and then the dreadful disease, which could have been the beginning of the end for most, but then this is Stephen Hawking!
Here Director James Marsh deftly steers the narrative away from the academic & scientific, towards the human angle.
A remarkable part of the ‘The Theory Of Everything’ is insights into the unique, courageous & honest relationship of Hawking with his first love, Jane. Fiercely loyal & madly in love, Jane insists on marrying Stephen, despite his growing illness, puts her life on hold to encourage him to realize his dreams, gives him the gift of a normal family life, a flourishing career & allows her life to revolve around him.
Then there is this part which made me wonder – when they finally & painfully decide to end their marriage, you are not sure whether Stephen who speaks volumes with his eyes and face, lets Jane go in a bid to allow her to live her dreams or whether she agrees to leave him, to liberate him …
Either way, we witness a leaves-a-lump-in-your-throat love story & I dare you not to shed a tear or two when years later, it is Jane who Stephen invites to accompany him when he is to be Knighted.
The scariest job for an actor must be to play a character who is alive & around and worse still, if it is someone as well-known as Hawking! Eddie Redmayne pulls it off with ease, with conviction, emotes with his eyes & years after ‘Gandhi’ when Ben Kingsley became the Mahatma, Redmayne becomes Hawking! It’s going to be a tough act to follow for this impressive young actor because he made us believe he was Hawking and it will be difficult to see him as anyone else!
Behind every successful man …
Felicity Jones, in contrast to her petite frame & feminine charm is fierce, strong, real & quite the woman of substance.
The movie closes with images of Stephen & Jane setting everything aside, brimming with pride & love as parents gazing at their three children who represent a sum of their life and all that they have accomplished.
A moment for the mother in me who realizes that I have one thing in common with the one & only Stephen Hawking!
Go on that date with Stephen Hawking!
I have a theory that it will be well worth your time!
Eddie Redmayne & James Marsh, see you at the Oscars!
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