Welcome to Genius Week: Day 3. What better film to review on genius week other than a film about one of the most brilliant minds of our lifetime, Stephen Hawking. I’ve been interested in watching this film ever since I heard about it, but for some reason, the film escaped me. So, is The Theory of Everything everything I thought it would be? Let’s find out.
The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Little was expected from Stephen Hawking, a bright but shiftless student of cosmology, given just two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at 21 years of age. He became galvanized, however, by the love of fellow Cambridge student, Jane Wilde, and he went on to be called the successor to Einstein, as well as a husband and father to their three children. Over the course of their marriage as Stephen’s body collapsed and his academic renown soared, fault lines were exposed that tested the lineaments of their relationship and dramatically altered the course of both of their lives. – (IMDb)
The biggest thing that’ll hit you when watching is Eddie Redmayne’s ability to portray this role…it’s honestly some of the best acting I’ve seen in a portrayal. Even Hawking himself said there were certain parts where he thought Redmayne was him, and he’s a genius! I’m sure it’s hard to portray a character with a disability without being offensive, but Redmayne was a professional. There was never a moment in this film where Redmayne didn’t impress me.
Of course, this is a biographical film, which is often the type of film I’m not always fond of, but there’s something unique and special about The Theory of Everything that really does give you a reason to keep watching. It is in all honesty, fascinating. But that’s just my first impressions, let’s get into the nitty gritty and break the film down, shall we?
PEOPLE SCORE – 10/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
Alrighty, so we first take a look at the people in the film, and for a biography, we naturally hope for a perfect score…which is what we get here. The acting is absolutely superb, as I’ve mentioned above. Redmayne definitely led the acting, but everyone else also did a great job with their performances as well. The characters are all pretty memorable, which was something that somewhat surprised me. I originally thought the only person who I would remember was Redmayne, not so. I wouldn’t even think about casting anyone else in these roles, they all play such an important part in Hawking’s life, inspiring him to go on and keep experiencing life and contributing to science. Then there’s the chemistry. This is a romance, and you can tell. The romance is even more powerful given the strains you naturally have with any disability, and they did a great job here.
WRITING SCORE – 10/10
Dialogue – 2|Balance – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next up, we’ll look at the writing of The Theory of Everything, which also received a perfect ranking. Being about a well-versed genius that talks a lot, I am going to give that full points right off the bat. It’s also a rather balanced story, even though it does cover a number of years in Hawking’s life. Even though the time span covers many years, it always focuses on the progression of Hawking’s condition and his thirst for knowledge and journey to find the answer to everything. The story itself is mostly just about his life, but because he has such a fascinating life, I don’t really mind that about the film. It’s completely original and increasingly interesting.
BTS SCORE – 10/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 2|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2
Even the behind-the-scenes score got a perfect score. The visuals were always pretty spectacular, and a lot of that had to do with the directing of the film, which was just as good. The director had a story to tell that covered several years, and somehow he kept it intact wonderfully and helped shoot the film in a beautiful manner. The editing was also pretty interesting, especially when they made certain moments in the film highlight his condition, which was done remarkably well. This film was as-advertised, and I personally liked the music choices used throughout the film. So once again, we have a completely perfect score.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 8/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 1
Alas, our perfect record has found its first speed bump, and it is unsurprisingly in the narrative arc segment. When you’re talking about biographies of people…especially people who are still living, you run into the problem that there is no actual end of the story. I’m not entirely sure what the buildup was supposed to be, but it had something to do with his marriage to Jane – that being said, it didn’t feel big enough to be considered a climax, neither did the falling action, because the new norm was just Stephen Hawking as we know him today…which really isn’t all that much different than how he was before. Everything else was great, though. The introduction got us acquainted to his brilliance. The inciting incident was when he learned he had “two years to live”, the obstacles really came down to living with the condition from both Stephen’s and Jane’s perspective.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 5/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 2
Now, how entertaining was it? Don’t be disturbed by the five out of ten score up top, that just means I wasn’t glued to my seat losing control of my bladder because it was so entertaining. Five means it was perfectly fine. I do consider it highly rewatchable, somewhat fun to watch, and has the ability to suck you in from beginning to end. However, I’m not going to go out of my way to either buy or own the film, nor am I going to go out of my way to discuss it with anyone…it didn’t blow me away that much.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 50/50
Stephen Hawking – 10|Biography – 10|Drama – 10|Romance – 10|Halfway Decent – 10
Finally, we are now on to the specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the film. This film is based on Stephen Hawking, so how was that presentation? For the third time, it was the best actual part of the film. Being a biography, and I normally hate them, how was this one? This biography was captivating and interesting enough to keep me watching and wondering how the physicist went from Point A to Point B. How about the Drama? The drama was very dramatic, haha, but it was very well done. Romance? Never thought you’d see a Stephen Hawking romance did you? Well, neither did I, and they actually did a fantastic job with the chemistry between the two leads. As for if it was halfway decent, it totally was.