By Aditya Jalan (Boston)
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Another Marvel production – Doctor Strange hits the big screen. Consistently, our pioneers, and government officials call for attacks and revenges against several policies and laws, but only few of them would comprehend the destruction caused after a terrific battle as the characters of Doctor Strange. Doctor Strange is definitely one of the best origin stories produced by Marvel Studios. The genre of the movie is Fantasy, Adventure, Action and Science Fiction.

I truly admire the productions of Marvel and personally, I am a big fan of superhero movies. Doctor Strange is a masterpiece that triumphs in all levels, where each character, costumes, scenes, dialogues, lighting and soundtrack makes this film worth watching. According to google, the movie of the budget is 165 million USD. The soundtracks, the characters, special and visual effects, and plots and settings would contribute to make this movie big-ticket.

The movie opens with a beautiful soundtrack as it enhances the character of Doctor Strange, rich and intelligent neurosurgeon. He is a self-oriented person, who cares much about himself rather than the people around him. After Stephen Strange met with barbaric accident, he tries every traditional methods and medicines to cure himself. Unfortunately, after trying every approach to recover, he tracks down Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt), a former paraplegic. Pangborn then advices Strange to seek out the Kamar-Taj, situated in Nepal. Similar to most Marvel heroes, Strange decides to visit Kathmandu, Nepal where his life changes. Soon after, he meets Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his master, the ancient one, (Tilda Swinton) who trains him to become the greatest sorcerer of all times. After walking through the magical land, he encounters Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), the former master and ex-disciple of the ancient one, who uses atrocious purpose for his own benefit. Kaecilius wants to live an immortal life by merging Earth with the dark dimensions.

The script of Doctor Strange provided humour and witty dialogues which kept the excitement throughout the movie, despite the tensed atmosphere after the accident of Doctor Strange. However, the acumen of Doctor Strange leads him to prevail and overcome all his fears. The addition to humour to the script which were indeed genuinely funny and enjoyable. It is always pleasant to keep all the audience exuberant at all times. Moreover, Benedict Cumberbatch had American accent in the movie which was quite questionable, yet he played it perfectly without any flaws. Apart from some humour dialogues, the conversations between Doctor Strange and Kaecilius are absurd. The CGI and visuals supports their argument but some of the words uttered by the characters are gibberish.

Every scene in the movie was filled with colours and relied heavily on visual effects. These colours exhibited the beauty of nature by demonstrating the calmness of the sea, the eerie silence of a desert, greenery of the forest and majesty of the mountains. Along with natural elements, the black devilish colour represented the evil deep dark nature of people in the world – arrogance, dishonest, cruel, inhuman and other malicious motives. One of most spectacular scene was the out-of-body battles between some characters in the movie, which created entertaining environment among the audiences. Furthermore, the visuals and cinematography of the movie are electrifying and computer generated images are well received by the spectacle. The formation of new world, the breaking and folding of buildings, changing of landscapes, and the time lapse contributed to form the rich visuals. The first few minutes of the movie dwells into the magic where Kaecilius and his followers steals the pages of magic spell from one of their sacred books. Undoubtedly, the best aspect of Doctor Strange is its cinematography which were an absolute delight to our eyes.

The movie is heavy on elucidation, alternate dark dimensions and challenges laws of nature and time. Derrickson, who is also directed horror movies like Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, has lucidly applied some effects and application of laws of physics, the use of dimensions, particularly in the scene where the Ancient one (Tilda Swinton), confronts Kaecilius in the beginning, where he and his fellow followers slip, slide, jump and hops in the multi-dimensional world. Some of the scenes left me amazed as I gazed on the big screen- travelling through time and dimensions whose beauty cannot be questioned. The time dimension and supernatural elements is vividly manifested which has the ability to revert the time, marking the movie subtle. Withal, this creates an illusion to exemplary the effects of innovative ideas within the movie. Even the man who thought that he was invulnerable was dazzled, when the ancient one casts her magical powers to show his divine soul the dark beauty of nature and amazing astral projections.

Despite an enthralling lead role played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange lacked artistic plots produced by Marvel Studios. The movie progresses quickly which arouses doubts and suspicion about the life of Doctor Strange and his past life. Furthermore, the mastery of magic by Strange was something which wasn’t developed quite well. The arduous situations and the procedure of gaining of magical power overcame by Doctor Strange lacked insight depth. At first, he had troubles with concentrating and casting magic. After some time, he is stealing books from the library under the supervision of Wong (Benedict Wong), the keeper of the spellbook library. The new powers Strange learns, the opening of portals, time lapse, astral projections and mirror dimensions, aren’t being given enough time to establish the importance of these mystic arts. Another missing element in the movie was the furious battles and the tension between the battles of Doctor Strange. They were simply raging a battle without any real argument or ideologies. The fight between Doctor Strange and Dormammu, the cosmic giant, was epic and comical rather than punching and firing weapons.

Doctor Strange has quite the amazing characters, but the movie doesn’t make the best of them. The chemistry that existed between Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams, which was expressed quite adorably. On the other hand, Doctor Strange only came to Christine Palmer when he needed her. Apart from that, Rachel McAdams has a mere role to be played as a superhero love interest. The character of Benedict Cumberbatch was shown to be a pompous doctor, filled with attitude. This is one of the reasons that Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) is attracted as well as repelled by Doctor Strange. This role perfectly suits Benedict Cumberbatch as he played the role of “Sherlock Holmes” in television series. The character of Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor does not justify their roles played. Most of the scenes explained the concepts around “Sanctums”, which were the security system for Earth. Scott Derrickson must have big budget to present these characters to the big screen.

Arguably, Doctor Strange is the most powerful superhero as he is shown questioning the existence of reality. He was quite comparable to Tony Stark, who role was played Robert Downing Jr. The most captivating battle of Doctor Strange is with himself, making the journey adventurous as well as full of hardships. The car crash left him severely injured, which tended his life to progress and learn more about the existence of life. During this phase, he learns the powerful spells to face all earthly predicaments and also to defend himself. At some point in the movie, the Cloak of Levitation, the magical cape, supports Strange to get rid of blows and protect himself from demonic powers.

Withal, I was totally enticed by spells and wizardry, amazing characters, breath-taking visuals and comical script. This movie also vividly exposed the beauty of scenic places like the Kathmandu valley, where he trains himself, New York and Shanghai, where he masters the mystic art. Furthermore, I love the way this movie flows as it caught my attention till the bitter end. This movie was a combination of spells and wizardry from Harry Potter, special effects from Inception and Matrix, and philosophies and conversations from Batman series. I would definitely recommend the movies like Deadpool (comical and adventurous), Ironman (action), Inception (science fiction), to the audience who enjoyed this movie. Highly recommended to Marvel fans.

Rating: 4/5

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