Before starting off this particular review, there is one thing we need to set straight: every moviemaker is gifted with a slice of creativity that projects on a certain segment of production. They can master that one segment, earn praise and surprise viewers time and again. However when looking into exceeding their mastery in that one area, sometimes the captain of the ship tends to forget all the other components that also need equal attention to ensure smooth sailing.
Marvel Studios have a reputation they need to live up to. They are in charge of creating superhero movies that are out of this world! And they have managed to do that, creating a niche and dedicated audience that will flock to the cinemas without even knowing any details of the characters, the plotline and the production team. The films are known to have visuals and CGI is justified in every frame. The recently unveiled ‘Doctor Strange’ is no different. In fact it pushes the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a bold new direction. It was also probably the first time we would have noticed a lot of effort and concentration has been put into the musical score of a Marvel film. Of course coming to the visuals, they are absolutely electrifying; the effects and the technological boost had managed to build a world far different than anything else we’ve seen in superhero movies recently. And of course we don’t expect anything less, for this movie actually takes on a magical theme which needs to be rightfully justified. However for all of its wondrous world-building and trippy effects( yes some of those enactments did give us major ‘deja-vu’ feels, taking us back to Leonardo’s Inception days) “Doctor Strange” doesn’t even come close as the evolutionary step forward for Marvel, why you ask: simply because what glitters isn’t always gold.
The storyline falls flat. With a completely epic opening, one wonders how the movie will move forward, and then it suddenly sinks into a lukewarm puddle through which you need to jump quite often to make it seem exciting. The story, focuses on Stephen Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), who is a genius, rich neurosurgeon with an ego that stands rival to what we saw Tony Stark portray ( de-ja vu again?). He moves through the world with little regard for the people around him. After being distracted looking at medical documents while driving (he may be smart but his ego makes him think he’s invulnerable), he is involved in a brutal car accident that wrecks his hands. His scarred, trembling hands are a constant reminder of the man he once was and never will be again. His world of medicine and science has failed him and as the events unfold, Strange finds himself under the tutelage of The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) in Nepal, who opens him up to worlds he never believed existed. Seems pretty simple right? Yes, probably what director Scott Derrickson thought so too and look what we ended up with: Marvel’s best looking movie with a not-so best script. The core narrative again remains the orphaned element of Marvel and something we know, if mastered, can lead to one of the greatest films ever made. It’s the only thing that sets them back.
Still, even with some of the film’s considerable and obvious faults, “Doctor Strange” can also be charming. With its touch of mysticism, subtle humour and sticking imagery, it brings a fascinating world full of magic and villains that exists beyond our understanding of time and reality to life. Worth the price of an admission ticket.