Film: The Theory of Everything – Eddie Redmayne’s finest hour
The extraordinary life of Professor Stephen Hawking explodes onto the big screen with utter heart, emotion and togetherness. What it lacks in overall cohesiveness and integrity it achieves through its concrete leads. Felicity Jones is timide yet large, vulnerable yet strong, she rides the paradoxical line astonishingly well. But the true heart lies with Eddie Redmayne’s depiction of Stephen Hawking.
The Theory of Everything embarks on the much travelled and much weary biopic road by spanning across a significant amount of time and space. Unlike Selma, which encapsulates a single rally headlined by Martin Luther King Jr., The Theory of Everything rightly tugs us along Hawking’s journey from lazy Cambridge student to troubled family man and world-renowned genius.
It is this transformation that makes The Theory of Everything a terrific acting vehicle for Eddie Redmayne. To see the baby faced Brit morph from the soft faced, awkward postured university student to the physically disabled and emotionally radioactive Hawking is an effervescent marvel. To say a few tears were shed is an understatement.
As the motor neuron disease begins to take its toll, every word is delivered with great bereft and weight. Every syllable seems to be held down by years of anguish and torture. The pain appears real. The pain appears tangible. To simply act as another person is accomplished and attained by many who dance in the theatre of film but to become someone is a talent contained to the dedicated and gifted – Redmayne is one such master of the art.
The film is not without its faults; it lingers far too long on unnecessary sequences and characters and could have survived without delving into Hawking’s relationship with Elaine Mason. It also sags towards the climax but is once again dragged back onto course by the visceral Redmayne and the eloquent Felicity Jones as they bask in the beautiful light shone on them by an impressively adept James Marsh.
Score – B+