Movie Review: The Theory of Everything

There’ve been plenty of silver-screen epics about space lately. We’veInterstellar , which came in No. 15 in overall box office sales in 2014, and the upcoming Jupiter Ascending which discusses space and life in a fictional future.

Interestingly, The Theory of Everything deals with the reality of space and time in our world – specifically the theories that were birthed by the relationship between Stephen and Jane Hawking.


Based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, The Theory of Everything follows the journey of a young Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) back in 1963. He is on the cusp of completing his PhD dissertation and concurrently falls head over heels with Jane (Felicity Jones) and her love for Spanish Medieval poetry.

The rest of the movie tracks his endless battle with the crippling motor neurone disease, complications in their relationship and ultimately deals with the question: is there really a theory for everything?


Director James Marsh formulates the entire film like a skilled mathematician, ensuring every role sticks strictly to the story in the memoir.

In an interview with Deadline, he said that dramatizing a story wasn’t as different as shooting documentary. He felt that the scriptwriter Anthony McCarten  presented a respectful yet emotional dynamic to the story. Altogether, the scriptwriting and characters arcs continuously  show the growth of each character, lending the film a smooth transition and authenticity to the film.


Redmayne, in a stark departure from theatrical singing in Les Misérables, transformed and owned the role of Hawking. In his interview with The Independent, he confessed to spending 6 months solely reading up on the legendary astrophysicist, whom he idolized the more he read about. His hard work has clearly paid off, with Redmayne winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for his portrayal of Hawking and receiving a nomination at the upcoming Oscars.

Redmayne nailed a flattering imitation of Hawking down pat by combining the physical struggles and limitations of acting in a wheelchair with a childlike wit and sense of humor. One particular scene sees him rolling around his wheelchair, screaming “Exterminate!” like a Dalek from Doctor Who.


His undeniable chemistry with Jones brings out the intimacy between the 2 lovers especially in their private moments in the film. In the early stages of his affliction, it’s heartwarming to see how the 2 never let the disease get in the way of their love from their tender lovemaking to leading a normal life as much as possible.


Jones is every bit an impeccable English rose. Her interactions with Redmayne were at times stilted, but did demonstrate her character’s gradual discovery of herself and Hawking. In fact, the real Jane Hawking herself said in a trailer interview when she first saw the movie: “Oh my goodness, that’s me because she had captured my mannerisms.”


Perhaps the only gripe staunch Hawking fans will have is its reduction of his grand theories to nothing more than scientific poetry. It may be easier for general audiences to understand, but the magnitude and awe of Hawking’s theories were greatly lost through this delivery.

Still, The Theory of Everything presents a wonderfully gripping love story complete with timeless moments of wit, charm and tenderness. A story that proves love and humanity, imperfect as it may be, is a lot like the universe: boundless.

Rating: 4/5


Release Date: January 8

Runtime: 124 minutes

Language: English

Censorship rating: PG13

Genre: Biography, Romance, Drama.

Director: James Marsh

Main Actors: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson

Photo Credits: Universal Pictures International