RELIANCE HOME VIDEO, Rs 499
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox
Director: James Marsh
This Oscar award winning docudrama is a heartbreaking love story and an engrossing account of one of the world’s best physicists alive today. Adapted from the memoir Traveling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen Hawking written by his wife Jane Hawking, the film tells the story of the brilliant young Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) as a physically-active student studying at Cambridge University and pursuing his scientific dreams, when one day he receives a horrifying diagnosis (at age 21) of having motor neuron disease. The doctors give him just two years to live. But Stephen defies all odds and is still working and theorizing at age 73. The disease not only affected his mind’s abilities, but also left him in a state of paralysis where he lost the ability to walk, speak, and carry out other functions he was previously able to do with ease. The film details his struggle to live with the disease.
The adaptation also pans Stephen’s personal life with his childhood sweetheart Jane (Felicity Jones) and her insistence that they settle down despite the fact that she knows Stephen’s disease could mar their relationship. As this film is based on her own memoir, a large part of is devoted to showing Jane’s struggle to care for her disabled husband and their two children. From finding him a simple wheelchair to getting a motorized one, Jane tries her best to make life comfortable for her husband. But all this weighs her down. She finally brings in widowed pastor Jonathan (Charlie Cox) to help out. Soon her relationship with Stephen begins to crack. Stephen is unmindful of what is going on and instead concentrates on his scholarly ambitions which ultimately lead to releasing his famous novel A Brief History of Time.
Redmayne’s performance does not feel like the work of someone merely out to imitate the harsh realities of someone with such a condition. His performance is that of an accomplished actor hoping to be faithful to telling the story of Stephen Hawking. The detail in his performance is amazing. Every eye movement, posture, is enacted with practiced ease, embodying Hawking to the point where you actually believe you are watching Hawking himself. Hawking’s dry sense of humour, too, is well packaged to show the lighter side of the scientist.
It is inspiring to see the struggles and triumphs that both Stephen and Jane Hawking go through. For this reason, The Theory Of Everything is a film well worth exploring.
Verus Ferreira is a freelance music journalist for over three decades, contributing articles to various newspapers and magazines. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book. Besides being a music aficionado, he is also a photo-journalist. He contributes to Musicunplugged.in.