Boy with “A Beautiful Mind” Meets Girl: “The Theory of Everything” (2014), a review

April 1, 2015 9:00 am

It’s 1963, and Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) studies cosmology – “like religion for intelligent atheists” – at Cambridge, looking for a single equation to explain everything, a theory about time, a space-time singularity that explains the way the universe appeared. He meets Jane (Felicity Jones) at a party: she studies French and Spanish. And the story goes on in a typically romantic way: boy meets girls, boy falls in love with girl, boy loses girl, boy regains girl.

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But this is a movie about the bloody brilliant Stephen Hawking, so along the way we get a lot of twists and turns: the young student is diagnosed with motor neuron disease, which deteriorates his muscles up to the point of sending him to a wheelchair. “What about the brain? What happens to the brain?” asks Stephen when his doctor tells him that life expectancy is about 2 years. “The brain is not affected”; but the mathematical probability of happiness alongside Jane is drastically reduced.

The screenplay is a journey in a wonderful mind, Redmayne contorts himself physically to submerge himself in Hawking’s disease ridden body, and brings to life the story of a golden mind trapped in a defective and eroded body in an authentic and emotionally filled way: surely an Oscar will follow. “The Theory of Everything” is not a movie that brings something new to the table, but one that makes a statement not through the way the story is told, but through the questions the story itself poses: Who are we? Why are we here? The answer this picture provides is to discover, to love and to be reborn from the ashes.

 

 

 

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