This film recounts the story of Stephen Hawking from the moment he meets his wife Jane until the moment he receives the honour of meeting the Queen of England after many years and numerous books and lectures being published and acknowledged world wide.
But the thing that captured my attention was that the film obviously addresses Hawking’s struggle with dealing and coming to terms with his neurological deficiency at the same time that it shows the impact that that has on Jane.
As his capacity to walk, talk, dress and eat on his own becomes increasingly affected, Jane steps in almost as an extension of Hawking himself as to care for him and helping to make his life as normal and as easy as possible. She becomes quite literally his back bone.
And it is astonishing to see how she dealt with it all. I mean she married him knowing what laid ahead because she loved him. Truly and completely. There is no denying of that fact.
Which only comes to showcase that the film tells the story not of Hawking’s ascent into professional stardom despite is illness (although that is still shown) but of Jane Hawking’s increasing descent into unhappiness due to the overwhelming notion that after having to take care of three children with no physical help from her husband due to his own inability to do so, having had to take care of a household in all manners, juggling to finish her PhD in Medieval Spanish Poetry and the added bonus of having to take care of her husband, only came to an inevitable halt because the combination of all of that mixed with Stephen’s increasing expeditions to other countries either to receive awards or to give lectures, led them to drift apart emotionally.
This led to her falling in love with the conductor of a church choir, Jonathan whom helped the family a great deal whilst Jane and Hawking still tried to mend their marriage which even led to a third pregnancy on her part. But the increasing difficulties continued even after a full time nurse came to take care of Hawking, only leading to him having a slight infatuation with her.
So I would say that the film is a brilliant depiction of how love can truly transcend the boundaries of disease, no matter of what level, and it can bring you up or take you further down depending on how you choose to live your life.
Stephen Hawking is without a doubt an incredibly inspiring man, not only because of his work but also of how he chose to live his life. Free of self imposed boundaries or of stereotypes imposed by society on how you should act or be seen by a major audience. He continues to change the world just by living.
But then again, it is often overlooked that he only managed to accomplish so much because Jane was by his side every step of the way. Unwavering and strong.
It is undoubtedly a beautiful biographical film with a strong human facet.