Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Theory of Everything Review | The Small Desk

I know what you're thinking: I'm late to the party with this one, or you've already decided you don't want to watch it. I was that person; I didn't want to watch it because I thought it looked far too sad and there was too much hype. Luckily my sister persuaded me to go, and I'm so glad she did.

The film begins with Hawking at Cambridge, living a fun and frivolous student life; drinking with friends, getting a girl's number and lying in after a hangover. It quickly moves to his initial struggle with motor neurone disease and the beginnings of his PhD thesis on Time.

Based on the book by Jane Hawking (his first wife), it portrays not only what it was like for Hawking to suffer with the disease but also what it was like for his wife; caring for him and raising their three children. It is literally fireworks at the beginning but she soon finds out that Hawking is of a difficult temperament and does not allow anyone to easily look after him. He is resistant to help, and when they do get help everything changes forever.

Eddie Redmayne is absolutely incredible; he plays Hawking in a way that makes you feel as though you are watching a documentary; that you are watching Hawking himself. The movements are a world away from what someone without the disease would experience, they are starkly different, yet it works because Redmayne has concentrated on every tiny movement, each subtlety, the emotion that goes with every movement, even down to the speech that goes with the change of muscle control.

This role could easily look forced, or look like you were making fun of Hawking. Redmayne has been unbelievably careful and sympathetic about taking on this role. I have no idea how he managed to pull it off.

It is absolutely phenomenal acting. You are watching a film about a science genius, medical marvel, a woman who risks it all, but also an Oscar-worthy performance, Redmayne's performance is something that will never be forgotten in the world of acting and film.

And if you're wondering why the brilliant Mr Cumberbatch didn't play the role, well he did... perhaps not quite as convincingly! Poor Benedict, he probably wants to forget about that now!
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