Physics of Attraction: “The Theory of Everything”

Xing Yi Zhao, ’18

“The Theory of Everything” is a British biographical romance about Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking. The film documents how Hawking met and fell in love with his future wife, Jane Wilde. Combining cheesy romantic scenes with Hawking’s heart-breaking development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), this film truly brings out all the feels.

Let’s begin talking about Stephen Hawking, an adorable and lovable but awkward nerd who is also a charming and witty man with an adorable British accent. Stephen first met Jane at a little party. After staring at her for a while, he finally decides to walk over to her. And after awkwardly standing behind her for 4 seconds, he says hello. They soon fall in love with each other, and Stephen becomes a famous Physicist, and everything ends up happily ever after…not.

After going to a lecture with his professor (who pays extra special attention to Stephen for some reason) about black holes, he is inspired. And so with that, he spends intense  hours of mathematics and physics at a blackboard to find some equation. But while leaving the building, he collapses. He doesn’t die, but is later told by the doctor that he has two years left to live, and that he has a motor neuron disease, which basically means that all his muscles will soon be paralyzed, except for his brain. He ignores Jane, he ignores his best friend, he completely gives up on life until Jane takes it upon herself to tell Stephen that he loves her. Stephen warns her, but soon enough they’ve began to live happily married with a few children. Happily is an understatement. Stephen first lost the ability to move his fingers, then his legs, then slowly his voice. Those who can’t handle heartbreaking medical conditions should not watch this film — but still, keep on reading.

One may say that “The Theory of Everything” could be compared to “The Fault in Our Stars,” except that Augustus Waters in this movie is actually remembered, and accomplishes something huge that significantly impacts the scientific community. At one point, Stephen actually loses his ability to talk properly, and surely it was hard to watch as he struggled trying to speak properly about his work in front older physicists. He can’t walk, and he can’t eat properly either. He is depressed, and so is Jane. The doctors told him that he had two years, but he’s lived so many. Get ready for all the tears when Jane tells Stephen that she’s loved him, too.

To put it quite frankly, the film wasn’t very interesting. It seemed kind of boring to me, except maybe the romantic parts, but it wasn’t terrible. It was based off of a biography after all. Remember how in the beginning this movie was introduced as a romantic film about Stephen and his journey to becoming a great physicist, accompanied with love with of his life? Plot twist: This film was originally based off of a book called Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen written by Jane Wilde Hawking about her ex-husband. Still, Stephen Hawking is a real man, and he did important research in quantum physics. So if you’d be interested in that, make sure to check out the movie. Imbd.com gave it an overall rating of 7.8/10 and I do agree.

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