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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Redmayne and Jones Shine in The Theory of Everything

Do not read this piece if you are still planning to see Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything or you don't know anything about Stephen Hawking's life - spoiler alert!
Like many college students at that time, I too, bought a copy of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time. This was in the early 90s, when his brilliance - and his attendant sickness - brought him worldwide fame and adoration.
I remember reading the book and not understanding a thing about it. I think that's what separates geniuses from ordinary people like me. It did make one feel very very minuscule compared to the vastness of the universe that Hawking's has envisioned for all of us.
After watching The Theory of Everything last night, I may have to look for that book again in my book stack upstairs. It should be there between my college yearbook and my 90s diaries.
However, if you're more interested in the science and in the mathematics that goes with Hawking's theories, you won't find it in the movie because the movie is based on the book written by Stephen's first wife, Jane. that's why this movie should've been released during Valentine's day - because it's a bittersweet romantic story between two very selfless people - one, who, despite his terrible affliction, turned the world upside down with the way we envisioned our universe - and the other one, who sacrificed her life and career just to make sure the genius of her husband shines through.
The movie is so lovingly done I wish all divorces were that civil! Eddie Redmayne probably saw Oscar written all over the script when it was given to him - you can actually see him disappear and be Stephen! It's a very flashy role and I'm not surprised why the Academy voted for him. While I was watching him, he kinda reminded me of the young Daniel Day-Lewis, who played a paraplegic poet in My Left Foot - another showy role that got Daniel his first Oscar.
However, the real revelation, at least for me, in this movie, is Felicity Jones. I already knew, Eddie can act, but this is the first time I've seen this girl, and she delivered an amazing performance! I'm really impressed! Any other actress with lesser talent would've made her character a pity party persona, which would be a tragedy.
Now that his love story has been told, it would be great if the science behind his genius becomes the focus of another movie on Stephen Hawking, much in the same way that The Imitation Game, another movie about another British genius - Alan Turing, showed how Alan broke the Enigma.
Now that two movies about geniuses have been shown in mainstream cinema, I kinda realized that even the brightest people the world has ever produced have the same problems as ordinary people - and that they are not immune to love, divorce, society's hypocrisies, and medical anomalies.

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