The Theory of Everything is a film that tells the awe-inspiring tale of the life of Dr. Stephen Hawking, renowned theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. The role of Hawking himself was played by Les Miserables’ Eddie Redmayne, who gave an outstanding performance that captured the essence of Hawking’s intelligence and determination, despite the hardships that challenged him.. Struck with Lou Gherig’s disease while in the midst of pursuing his doctorate in physics, Hawking was faced with the fact that his brilliant mind was trapped in a (muscle) decaying body, and would only have 2 years to live.
Yet while his world seemed to come crashing down and Stephen was ready to give up, it was his girlfriend, Jane Wild, played by Like Crazy actress Felicity Jones, who pushed him to persevere and rise about his physical incapabilities. Together, they built a home, and despite Stephen’s shortcomings, Jane never gave up, and loved him unconditionally. The brutally realistic portrayal of Stephen’s deteriorating motor skills, partnered with the patience, admiration, and support Jane had for her husband left everyone in the movie theatre with damp eyes, that is, if they had not already burst into tears.
Temptation in the form of Jonathan Hellyer Jones, played by Charlie Cox, a pianoman for the church who assisted Jane in Stephen’s care. The birth of a third Hawking child caused great controversy as many falsely suspected the child to be Jonathan’s, causing him to retreat from helping the family. One of the final tragedies of the film was Stephen being rushed to the hospital during an award ceremony abroad and virtually slipping into a coma. It was then that the doctor asked Jane if she wanted to disconnect the life support machine that was keeping Stephen alive, but without a shadow of a doubt, Mrs. Hawking sternly said to him, “Stephen must live.”
After the coma, however, in order to help him breathe, the doctors performed a tracheotomy of Stephen, taking his ability to ever speak again. He defeated this by having a machine attached to his wheelchair that relayed his messages via a computerized voice, and even went on to write the novel A Brief History of Time: From the Bing Bang to Black Holes in this manner. Stephen unexpectedly found love in his nurse, who he would marry on later in his life.
The Theory of Everything teaches its audience about the hardships of those who suffer from Lou Gherig’s disease, how unconditional love may or may not be enough, and that to fulfill your dreams, you must simply believe in yourself. Dr. Stephen Hawking went on to live far longer than the 2 years his doctor initially gave him, and proved to contribute great things to the world. The raw, honest portrayal of his Hawking’s life captured the extent of his struggles throughout his life and those around him, but because he had the support and love of others, he was able to be triumphant. Hawking teaches us that absolutely nothing can get in the way of reaching of our dreams, and that the only thing that may be stopping us is our disbelief ourselves. “There should be no boundary to human life,” he says, “…Where there is life, there is hope.”