In commemoration of the recent passing of the brilliant Stephen Hawking, I found myself sitting down to enjoy the movie which portrays the life and romantic relationship between the man himself and his first wife, The Theory of Everything. However, I would soon find that a movie I wanted to dive into would quickly plummet to the sea floor rather than rise to the occasion.
The Theory of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking and Felicity Jones as Jane Wilde, supposedly captures the romance of the two before their divorce around 30 years later. While I understand the appeal of a young couple braving the diagnosis of a life and career changing disorder, I personally did not see the connection between the two in the movie. It was obvious they cared for each other, yes, but what the characters loved about each other was not as easily seen. The characters were likable enough, yet did not have any outstanding characteristics which would lead me to believe that these two fell in love.
Regardless, the love story of the movie is based on the real-life love story between Stephen and Jane. What was displayed in the movie, however, was a one dimensional relationship. You could tell that they loved each other, but what they loved of each other wasn’t evident. Which is confusing because the two actors spent time with Stephen and Jane to get a full idea of what their relationship really looked like.
Despite my personal opinion of the movie lacking in the romance department, Jane Wilde personally believed that there was more love portrayed than physics in the movie, which was untrue to their real relationship.
Although the on-screen relationship was lacking, the actors did fit their roles very well. Jones and Redmayne went on to win several awards in 2015, as well as being nominated for even more. Redmayne did a more than phenomenal job of portraying someone struggling with Motor Neuron Disease, even taking the time to spend weeks with people living with the disease.
The camera and unique direction techniques almost made up entirely for the lack of personal connection between the characters. Between unique flares and distorted images, the movie looked beautiful. The only thing that was slightly off-putting was the somewhat disturbing overuse of a blue filter. It reminded me of how dark Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was, which at least for me, was so dark I couldn’t see anything. Although it was not this severe, it was still noticeably annoying, especially because the rest of the movie is filmed with a normal balance of colors with the exception of a gold filter, which I do have to say was pleasing to the eye.
The script of the characters seemed to contain believable conversation that could have occurred; however, I did feel like I was left hanging onto what the characters said, but not in a good way. It felt like there were moments when more could have- and should have- been said. Instead, I was left wondering where the rest of the sentence went. Although the dialogue was realistic, it felt choppy and cut off.
Despite the seemingly childish script and lack of romantic emotion, the director, James Marsh, is a well known one, specifically for his award-winning documentary Man on Wire. Despite the big name, I was still not too amused by this movie.
This all being said, if you enjoy movies where science is brought to life and unobtainable ideas about the origin of time and space captivate you, this movie does contain an extraordinary amount of that and will probably please you more than it did me.
I guess the main reason I am so hung up on the romance aspect of the movie is because it is described as a “drama/romance” and only appears to succeed in the drama department. The movie was entertaining enough, and the acting was astounding, don’t get me wrong. I just felt as though it was lacking and could have been conducted better, as well as would have made a better impression if things like the script had simply been carried through well instead of halfway done.