Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
It may be the dramatic representation of the life of Lady Diana or Grace Kelly as monarch or aviator Howard Hughes’ career or Einstein’s association with scientist Sir Arthur Eddington, the biographical films overshadow present-day film industry. This genre seems perfect material for filmmakers to share dramatic events and experiences of significant people with spectators.
One such fascinating example is The Theory of Everything, based on Jane Hawking’s memoir Travelling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen (2007), a highly emotional drama in which life of theoretical astrophysicist/author Stephen Hawking with his first wife Jane Hawking and his lifetime fight with Motor Neurone disease (MND) deftly covered heart wrenching poignant real life aspects of love, arts and science.
Generally speaking, love is often depicted as sacrifices and compromises. As a matter of fact, true love is care; with a certain willingness to share, sacrifice and compromise in a relationship. This precisely crafted biopic is a perfect example of human emotions of love, care, trust and sharing.
It tells the anecdote of Jane Wilde, played by Felicity Jones, an arts student, impressed by brainpower, wit and eventually falling in love with smart and confident Stephen Hawking, played by Eddie Redmayne, a cosmology graduate student at Cambridge University. Everything was sailing smoothly, until Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – only two gloomy years to live.
It further trails the sincerity, love and compassion of Jane for Stephen and her decision to marry him despite the fact of his very short life. She devoted her life from the moment his ailment left him wheelchair bound and unable to communicate for the rest of his life. As a dedicated woman, she persists to care for him.
Initially, there are some feelings of irritation and sullenness, but ultimately accepting the truth about life sums up the reality. Jane became infatuated with her church choir director Jonathan, played by Charlie Cox, while Stephen ends up falling in love with an affectionate nurse.
Although, the subject looks quite serious and tear-jerking love affair, however, the movie definitely depicts moments of cheerfulness, elating and some of Hawking’s idiosyncratic wittiness.
In most cases, when directors and screenwriters adopt a memoir for a script, they usually end up by altering the essence of narration, losing grip in showing writer’s inconsequential details. Fortunately, director James Marsch, a winner of Academy Award for documentary Man on Wire, and screenwriter-producer Anthony McCarten fully managed to sincerely maintain their selected memoir’s vividness with sobriety in all scenes and dialogues. For instance, both Jane and Stephen have dissimilar estimation about God’s existence and cosmos; however, these are articulated in a well-mannered academic discussion.
The unambiguous pace of the film is powerful and engrossing, yet easy to understand. Marsh brings a razor-sharp creativity, brilliantly merges the past, present, reminiscence and realism. The screenplay is an article of irrefutable command, insight and sophistication. The movie is visually eye-catching and presents some great cinematography, production design, music, and charismatic make-up. In fact, every trivial fact is attended to and illustrated outstandingly.
This boffin biopic shows its spectators to comprehend a totally new multifarious feeling of reverence and attraction with an intense, persistent love as well as apparently ceaseless intellectual skill all the way through everyday exertions faced by both Jane and Stephen.
Felicity Jones, famous for The Invisible Woman, brings together an exciting performance with compassion, acceptance, endurance and strength while Eddie Redmayne presents stirring acting skills, wholly compelling in physicality, realistic in grief and ache. He flawlessly personifies Hawking that nobody can judge he is playing a character. Dr. Hawking also admired his appealing performance,
“At times, I thought he was me.”
The only negative point of this drama is absence of Hawking’s research work. Marsch deliberately focus the engaging intimate love aspect rather than scientific theories.
Overall, TTOE is a thought provoking piece of art about relationship, intricacies of love and lethal hindrances. It is an exceptionally delightful love-story of distinctive people doing their best in challenging conditions that will make you cry.
I consider this two hour romanticized biopic as one of the most skillfully shot movie that I have seen. So, I would rate it four on the scale of five.