Wednesday, January 2, 2019

1061. The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything
2014
Directed by James Marsh









I suppose this film is in the Book because of the amazing performance by Eddie Redmayne and out of respect for Stephen Hawking, who passed away recently. Still, a romance film has to be phenomenal for me to be able to stomach it, and this was not.

The film tells the story of Stephen Hawking, as his health and mobility deteriorates while he falls for the future Mrs. Jane Hawking. They fall in love and create a family together, but gradually their relationship begins to be a strain on them both.

Well, the movie completely whitewashes the Hawking romance, which was disappointing for me. I am not asking for Who's Afraid of Stephen Hawking here, but I think it would have been fascinating to explore the more tumultuous (and realistic) parts of their relationship. A good writer could have done this without making either of the characters into villains. After all, I would totally understand Stephen resenting Jane for her role as a caretaker, either out of humiliation, jealousy, or both. And Jane's almost saintlike behavior in this movie made her pretty inaccessible to me (I call it the Melanie Wilkes problem). Based on Jane Hawking's memoir, we all know what really happened (or one version of what actually happened) and it felt cowardly that they didn't portray that.

I don't think great love stories should end in such a fizzle, or at least, onscreen love stories.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Jane Hawking requested that they never show the characters having sex.

Eddie Redmayne only met with Stephen Hawking once before filming began.

1 comment:

  1. A difficult post to reply to, as I agree with just about everything you said, with nothing to disagree with, so rather bland reply.
    Rather like the film then..
    A film that it's difficult to dislike as, well, there is not that much there to grab hold of and like either.

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