With a story that has seen both wonderful and tragic, heartbreaking moments, it was just a matter of time that somebody took the lead of portraying the life of one of the best minds of the century in the film industry. It’s not the first time that Stephen’s life has been tried to be depicted as a movie. Back in 2004 there was a TV film which starred Benedict Cumberbatch as the young scientist. However, this is its first attempt at the big screen. For this, James Marsh comes with an incredibly talented cast that keeps everything as real and powerful as ever. Thus, although it feels that some elements are missing, the final product doesn’t disappoint as we get 123 minutes of a powerful and touching experience that tells the hard times that Stephen and his first wife, Jane, faced together from the first time they meet to the climax of his physical limitations.
Right since the beginning it’s clear what the movie wants to show us: the powerful bonding of Stephen and Jane. We witness their first time talking at a party of scientists and how different they are from each other. Stephen is all about physics while Jane is more into arts and God. However, it’s a real delight to see how they grow together, especially on the peak of the story when Stephen is diagnosed with motor neuron disorder which changes his life forever. He begins to lose proper control of his body and is eventually confined to a wheel chair while Jane is convinced that their love will help them overcome this fight together.
All that is achieved by the glorious acting that is presented. There’s really no doubt about why both Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are nominated for Best Actor and Best actress in a leading role, respectively, for these year’s Oscars. As spectators, we get a memorable experience as both of them do a terrific job at creating a romantic and tense atmosphere when they need to be that way. Eddie does such a realistic job at portraying professor Hawking in every way possible. The physical condition, the emotional devastation and even the great humorous spirit for which Hawking is known are what makes the film a joy to watch as well as Felicity’s sincere acting as a woman who loves her family but feels the stress of carrying everything through. Real-life Jane Wilde said in a recent interview that Felicity did an amazing job at doing it.
In addition, for a movie about a quite remarkable scientist, it is not exactly “scientific” as it is actually based on real-life Jane Wilde’s book Travelling to Infinity – My Life with Stephen. This is not a bad thing, because what is trying to be depicted is how Stephen and Jane managed to face the odds as a team and it is achieved in an outstanding way. Nonetheless, one would expect to (also) get a picture of how his works influence the world but that didn’t receive as much focus as the rest of the plot. Not even the moments when the scientific ideas are tried to be explained are very memorable as they feel without much personality. It wouldn’t have done any harm to follow some of Interstellar’s steps at explaining physics in a detailed yet understandable way for the average audience. It really doesn’t interfere with the real focus of the film but would have totally given a little of what the film slightly lacks: drama.
All in all, what we see in the big screen is definitely worth-watching. The cast is the real essence in a movie of a great man and a great woman the demonstrate love is what gives anybody a reason to live for. The score also need to be highlighted as a great factor that enhances the spirit of the film. The only downside might be that Stephen’s works are not depicted as remarkable and his physical illness as dramatic, which would have made it a complete film and depict why Hawking is the great man he is, because the movie is more about Jane. But, in conclusion, the movie as such does not let down, in general. It’s a love story capable of inspiring while giving us an idea of what Stephen has lived.