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'Theory Of Everything' Feels Incomplete


Much as I admire The Theory of Everything, the supposedly true movie of the life of scientific genius Stephen Hawking, I can't quite go along with the two women I talked with in the lobby, one of whom said she loved it and intended to see it again, and the other who said it was the best movie she'd ever seen and she wanted to see it several more times.

I'd certainly give it high marks for what it intends to be, but the material itself (especially when we learn in the closing credits that it is based on a memoir by the wife) properly precludes a complete story.

It is not, I think, prurient to wonder what kind of a sex life a man as knotted up with paralysis as Stephen Hawking could have, and how much of a struggle his wife, who seemed to me a rather touchy-feely type, had staying faithful to him-- if, indeed, she did. I wondered (as the two ladies I talked with did not) who was the father of Hawking's third child, considering the shape he was in by then.

And even if such suspicions just reveal my evil mind, I wondered how many real-life people must have shared my suspicion, and what the effect of those suspicions was on the three principal characters. It almost looks like there was a threesome toward the end of the movie, and I was curious about the feelings all three had about that. I fought the impression that somebody had edited out some facts. And I wouldn't object if somebody had-- some things are none of my business.

Despite its title, The Theory of Everything is about Stephen Hawking's life, not his theories. And with all its gaps and blanks, it is a story about three admirable characters, beautifully written and acted.

But it seems to be intended to inspire more than to tell the truth, and I seem to be hard to inspire.