Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Hate this Love Story

Special thanks to the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois for a free Pre-Screening

Produced By: Working Title Films
Director: James Marsh
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Harry Llyod, Michael Marcus and others
Pros: Good acting
Cons: Terrible story, boring screenplay, dumbed down
Rating: ** of 5 (2 of 5)

Don't we all love the underdog? Even if we have no idea just why Stephen Hawking's works have revolutionized physics, we can always enjoy the wonderful facets of his personal life. Paparazzi on the big screen? That's more or less what this hagiographic movie is about. If you expected to see a tribute to his revolutionary work, you can forget about it. This is a love story, through and through.

OK, perhaps I'm being harsh. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Sure, as a melodramatic film this one had every element of the 'formula' and hence, it is going to be very successful. The lead actors, especially Redmayne, did come up with some spectacular performances. But that's just not enough for me - there is just about no real story. It's a love triangle-turned-quadrilateral-turned-pentagon-turned-back-to-a-line. At one point, the sheer predictability is almost laughable.

But what really kills the film is that it is so boring - it just goes on and on. One hour through this 123 minute creation and I was yawning, hoping something interesting would happen. But it never does. There's always some scientific jargon added in to remind us who the movie is about, but when his revolutionary PhD thesis is summarized in about 30 seconds, keeping such hopes alive is but an exercise in vain. Now, I can understand that people don't want a movie like Interstellar, where you literally have to read an encyclopedia to make sense of the story. But even then, to dumb the life of such a celebrated scientist to a series of love affairs is just silly, insulting even.

I wouldn't recommend this movie. Take your kids to a planetarium if they want to learn science. Or watch some good ol' soap operas on TV if you want melodrama. Attempting to put both together made this movie an utter disaster. (OTFS)

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