The Theory of Everything ★★★½

People really need to set their expectations right before diving into this so-called biopic of Stephen Hawking because The Theory of Everything isn't really about the various breakthroughs Hawking made throughout his career but mainly concerns his relationship with his first wife, Jane Wilde Hawking. Remember that it is adapted from Jane's memoir & is told from her perspective, not Stephen's.

The Theory of Everything tells the life story of Jane & Stephen Hawking who meet for the first time at a party in 1963 & there's an instant spark between the two. Their relationship blossoms but tragedy occurs when Hawking learns that he has motor neurone disease. Devastated by this diagnosis, he loses all hope but Jane gives him a reason to live for. The two eventually marry but Hawking's deteriorating health keeps testing their relationship.

Directed by James Marsh, The Theory of Everything is a work of incredible warmth & affection as Marsh does a superb job with the given script & is painfully honest with its content. The script sidelines everything to focus entirely on the relationship dynamics. Cinematography provides a glossy layer to the whole picture, Editing keeps the narrative quite engaging for the majority of its runtime, and Jóhann Jóhannsson's score is very intimate, beautiful & heartwarming.

Coming to the performances, Eddie Redmayne's illustration of the renowned theoretical physicist is extraordinary for the young actor is completely immersed in his physically challenging role & nails Hawking's mannerisms with breathtaking precision while Felicity Jones is equally committed in her role of Jane Wilde Hawking & her emotionally resonant performance is as impressive a highlight as Redmayne's jaw-dropping work. And its supporting cast does a fine job as well.

Sure it feels a bit manipulative on certain instances, sure it conforms to the conventional cliché that behind every successful man lies a great woman, sure it travels a route that doesn't involve much risks or bold decisions & sure it concludes on a rather lackluster note but the on-screen chemistry between Eddie Redmayne & Felicity Jones plus their performance is so magical, convincing & full of charm that it ultimately brushes away most complaints.

On an overall scale, The Theory of Everything may not be the Stephen Hawking biopic many might have been looking forward to but it nonetheless works as an awe-inspiring love story that offers an insightful peek into the personal life of an unusual couple. An endearing & entertaining piece of filmmaking that's technically polished & works magnificently on the strength of its two leads, The Theory of Everything is a delightful experience.

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