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Hawking - DVD Review

Hawking

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

STEPHEN Hawking narrates the story of his life in his own words to add extra interest to this fascinating documentary.

Directed with equal parts sensitivity and good humour by Stephen Finnigan, this chronicles Hawking’s incredible life from childhood, through to the diagnosis and development of his motor neurone disease, and his rise to becoming one of the world’s foremost scientists.

It also examines his celebrity status and how Hawking embraces that, as well as his own family life and how those around him have coped with both his illness and ensuing fame.

What emerges is a warm, insightful and hugely endearing portrait of one of the world’s most fascinating and inspirational figures.

Notable, too, is the contribution of Hawking’s first wife and mother of his children, Jane, who perhaps offers the most probing insight into the private Hawking and how he may not always be the easiest patient or person to live with.

It’s credit to both Hawking himself and Finnigan that this documentary doesn’t seek merely to put the story across in rose-tinted fashion.

And while there’s also plenty to think about, both in terms of coping with disability and Hawking’s own scientific views (which, the film notes, have been polarising), there’s also immense fun to be found in further insights provided by the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Jim Carrey.

Indeed, you may well be surprised at just how much fun you have while viewing this fascinating film.

Certificate: PG
Running time: 90mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: September 23, 2013