I am feeling very conflicted by this film.
I loved it because of its beautiful cinematography and the tear-rendering soundtrack (especially the ending. Why must the ending always get me?) but I also had some problems with the execution.
The romance between Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde was portrayed in a stage/phase manner, meaning it went from falling in love to dating to marriage all in the span of perhaps half an hour. I understand that this is a biopic and this is supposed to cover Hawking’s life but the romance felt very rushed.
As a personal preference, I’m not a huge fan of films that are based on true stories. Oftentimes, I find that because it is a movie, writers and directors feel the need to dramatize everything. Something that is supposed to be true is less than true once it hits the screen. To that extent, I thought the film did a fair job of not committing the crime of “over-dramatization”.
It was a little disappointing to see that the film did not really highlight Hawking’s numerous accomplishments and theories. I absolutely have no experience with physics so it was surprising that I was a lot more interested in his process of coming up with his theories than his life.
Eddie Redmayne brilliantly portrayed Stephen Hawking. Although he couldn’t speak for much of the film, the subtle expressions that he made spoke more about his feelings and thoughts than words could ever do. Felicity Jones was an emotionally-impactful Jane Wilde. You could tell how much, just by how Jones acted, Jane loved Stephen.
I discovered something about myself as well: I am a total sucker for instrumental soundtracks. The music was a perfect fit for the storyline.
And the cinematography. Anybody who even remotely likes photography or cinematography will appreciate how exquisitely it was done.
While I was watching the film, I found some parts painful to watch so anyone who is planning to watch it…be prepared.
Overall, I really liked this film. The actors were amazing in their portrayals and the emotions pervading from them felt so real and genuine. I wished it divulged more about Hawking’s theories but I suppose when you have a theory of everything…it encompasses everything: friendship, determination, loss, love and discovery.