Eddie Redmayne plays physicist genius Stephen Hawking in the British drama ‘The Theory of Everything‘ (2014). Set in 1960s Cambridge, the film captures the student life of Hawking studying physics and falling in love with Jane (Felicity Jones). Tragically, he is diagnosed with motor neuron disease and is given the life expectancy of two years. Despite being warned of his illness, Jane decides not to give up on him, but love and fight his illness “together”.
Merging romance with such a tragic and heart breaking circumstance causes for visually stunning shots, yet a tear jerking notion throughout. Close-ups capture much of the unnerving and dare I say, deteriorating of Hawking’s body, yet despite this, we see that much of his humour and positivity remain. Such an inspiration, which he later elaborates on by saying “however bad life may seem, while there is life there’s hope“.
Besides this, playing such an intricate and sensitive role led Redmayne to rehearse and practise for months, in order to capture a genuine portrait of Hawking. According to sources, he in fact met Hawking and in an interview said that “He was very generous… Above and beyond the specifics I gleaned about how he slurred his words and such, was that he emanates this humour and wit”. Winning ‘Best Actor’ at the Golden Globe awards proves his success. His performance was truly astonishing and by extension, was without a doubt the cause of many tears in cinema showings.
The drama gives an insight into the life of a remarkable man who is so famous, yet so unknown. I say with certainty that many will leave cinema screens with not only a new found respect for such an intelligent and despite circumstances, positive human being, but also with a sense of liberation and ability to believe in ones self, courtesy of Hawking’s powerful words of wisdom.
“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” -Stephen Hawking
For more information about the film, please also see this review.