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Doctor Strange Review (2016) | Benedict Cumberbatch Uplifts the Uplifted

Doctor Strange is as badass as Marvel gets. You take the inbred flamboyance of Benedict Cumberbatch into consideration and remove those palisades of expression that bind him, you take his innate knack for humour and let it flow with his perfect timing, you let him really get under the skin of a character that you so profusely adore, and lo! You have got yourself a winning movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch: The Winner (Spoilers Ahead)

Haven’t we always secretly wished Benedict Cumberbatch to portray a superhero at some point? With a diverse portfolio like that of his, that keeps getting better every day, playing a superhero for him was always on the cards. Yes, he gives you more reasons to love him every day. This time by joining forces with the Marvel golden goose that has never really missed. It doesn’t miss this time either.

benedict cumberbatch as doctor strange in doctor strange movie

When you take a good look at the movie, Benedict Cumberbatch is it. He is there in the entire movie. In every frame, in every act you can feel his strong presence. That being said, Doctor Strange is all about it too. Such a great sorcerer he is that you can’t want him enough. And so he delivers! His solo movie that runs all by his magic fuel.

Humour in the movie is just the right amount as Marvel prefers. Melodrama is superbly complemented by Benedict’s knack for it. You can’t help but feel sorry for him when you see him completely decimated by that car accident in the beginning. The seemingly torture that follows is havocking for him, and he makes you feel all of that. It is a relief when you find his life head towards a different purpose.

Characters in Doctor Strange Movie

Rachel McAdams does a great Christine Palmer, firing up that fun element whenever Strange’s strangeness is around. Scott Adkinson as Lucian gets another ephemeral yet a fairly good part with Marvel; he doesn’t go unnoticed. It is Tilda Swinton however as The Ancient One that steals the show forming the primal carver of the story. The part where she wishes to go, when time stops has been gorgeously manifested. The screenplay there reaches levels of awe.

still of mads mikkelsen as kaecilius in doctor strange

Mads Mikkelsen invests himself well, doing a powerful Kaecilius but unfortunately gets a very limited part to prove his perversion. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo looks very promising and has a bright future ahead with Marvel.

Astounding Bits

Even in those rare vexing fight scenes, Scott manages to hold everything together. The depiction of the Sanctums, and the confusion of topsy-turvy worlds have been helmed with a superlative touch. One of the finest things that happen to Strange is the Cloak of Levitation. Instantly takes you back in time to remind you of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet. Extraordinary stuff!

Steve Ditko’s original comic series has been paid plenty of tribute on numerous occasions. That scene where they fight in an Astral plane as Palmer operates on him, is so intelligently thought of that you cannot applaud the creator enough.

There is beauty in Scott’s depiction as Strange bends time to his will experimenting with the fate of an apple. The final climactic scene to force Dormammu to bow down to Doctor Strange’s bargain was one of the most brilliant ways to vanquish someone. It goes on to show how insane Doctor Strange’s powers really are. You can’t help but wonder how strong is Doctor Strange really?

You can pre-order Doctor Strange movie from here:

Direction of Doctor Strange

I have always admired Scott Derrickson’s direction. Even in a movie as powerless as Deliver Us from Evil we found him steady as a rock, working hard. He never lets his sobriety wane, and that shows in his diligent work. Thus Doctor Strange has been helmed too. Right from the point of giving us a badass perspective into the life of the extraordinary yet egotistic surgeon Stephen Strange to the point of him coming to terms with subsequent dimensions in our reality, scenes have been brilliantly directed.

Downsides

It is what follows immediately after however makes you wish there was a better visual exploration about the things we don’t know, rather than immediately getting up to speed with Strange quickly packing in powers, and heading towards unveiling the secrets of the Eye of Agomotto. It seemed as if that was the only thing left to do at Kamar-Taj. Forced!

still of tilda swinton the ancient one showing doctor strange astral plane

With that awe-inspiring push into the extant multi-dimensions, Doctor Strange’s vision is something that will give you goosebumps. It makes you think of all the possibilities that stay hidden from naked eyes. Till that point of time you are gnawing at a lot of plausibility. But then it bereaves you when things kind of speed up. You don’t see the Ancient One taking Strange for a ride after he begins learning stuff, which in fact, sadly pulls off the plug from reality.

You come back wondering – it’s a comic after all. Stephen’s transformation into the superhero we think he is, gets affected owing to that, and it heads into your vantage of Marvel’s illusion almost immediately.

Doctor Strange Movie Editing

Editing, I am afraid, hasn’t been done properly either. As the movie quickly gallops towards an astral perspective, you see a lot of scenes getting chopped off mid-way, in order to move on. Viewers aren’t allowed to have a proper focus when it’s the learning hour for him.

To the point where the learning of Dr. Strange begins, the flick works seamlessly with ample plausibility. And then in order to move the story forward you see frequent time lapses making it chug at the speed of bullet.

Also, the fact that there is no calm sieving explanation of how and why laws of physics are bent in their worlds or how it all functions. I wish Ancient One had taken him for a ride explaining their ways of living, even though it would have been a spiritual sojourn, it would still have made things a tad more believable.

The Final Verdict

At the end of the day, Doctor Strange remains a character in Marvel’s colossal database. And that too one of the finest ones! MCU has been blessed with Benedict’s presence now. I guess it is time to show him crossing ways with the other Sherlock. Can’t wait for that!

With Benedict joining the elite house of the Avengers, things are endearingly heading towards the ultimate act of badassery.  And Thanos wink intended.

Yes there are end credit scenes. Two of them. So you can wait if you like fitting pieces in the puzzle.

You can check out the trailer of Doctor Strange movie here:

Secret in Their Eyes Review (2015)

So this was supposed to be a remake of the Argentinian flick “The Secret in their Eyes”. Unfortunately this turned out to be one of the worst remakes ever made.

Let us crawl slowly through the direction department:

It isn’t intense. Doesn’t let you connect at all. The office romance of Chiwetel and Nicole lacks the chemistry it was supposed to reach. Billy Ray goes for two parallel storylines which further vexes the audience. Primary reason being, Chiwetel looks exactly the same in both timelines, (his white beard is the only thing that could have probably pin pointed, and the flick’s story, which as a matter of fact, compels you to spend minutes wondering what they are really talking about to grasp which timeline you are exactly in)

Moving on to the plot front. So they did change the story a bit with the inclusion of Julia Roberts to the tale. Making her daughter a victim. The initial bits of the movie were quite powerful where she gives a power pack performance whilst grieving. Then she too gets bogged down by the flick’s poor direction. Screenplay is sometimes fine, but at most junctures lanced by inappropriate editing.

The story also lacks a proper Dirty War backdrop. Here 9/11 terrorism is taken into account for a distraught system. Although the plot of the movie runs directly on the rails of the Argentinian version, you incessantly feel something isn’t right. Music of the movie isn’t profound and is the detachable kind, not present at most of the crucial junctures.

Nicole is pretty much simply there, expressionless yet sensuous. You almost don’t figure out if Nicole was bluffing whilst challenging Marzin of his manhood. So poorly made! Even the final bits where everything was supposed to actually matter, things become so hazy and bleak you start thinking if it would end in a different fashion altogether.

Chiwetel tries to hold every bit on his shoulders alone, but unfortunately falls in the muck of some weird unfeeling love and looks of his co-stars. A very bad remake, actually. Go watch the original!

The Martian Review (2015)

The Martian is an orgasmic dig into science, unknown territories, top-notch optimism and undying hope.

As the beginning frames of The Martian survival painted the screen with a silent promise of grandeur, the first quotient that riveted me instantly was ‘Hope’. Mark Watney’s undying attitude towards life was really something. His optimistic nature towards survival was commendable. So what adds further icing to this survival tale? Sheer Watney genius!

The Martian is everything a survival movie needs to be. Ridley already had Andy Weir’s brilliant story in his vanguard, and he takes it and moulds it into one helluva beauty. The end result: 141 minutes of awesomeness. It keeps your heart in your mouth, your head attentive so you don’t miss all the useful science jargon, a smile on your face with its great humour whilst keeping you engaged throughout.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Matt Damon is outstanding as Watney. At times it’s like you can almost read his thoughts. He lingers his expressions like an expert and makes you connect instantly. Like one time he talks about his eventuality with a “so, Yeah……Yeah”. His instincts help him tackle every setback. His genius complements his acts. A very practical man, who takes every possibility into account but doesn’t let reality cloud his judgment. This makes you think what if the Martian wasn’t a polymath? Instead a normal human being like us? What would have happened then? Wouldn’t we have, I don’t know, died within a fortnight?

Visuals are rad. The scenic landscapes of Mars and Earth have been framed beautifully. At times the debris in the movie makes its 3D look badass. The screenplay is apt, most of the times shoehorned with Science. The plot is like a tide that makes you rove with its ups and downs. The brilliant brains manifested in the story are quite exceptional too. The flick teaches us a lot of things. The primal one being: never lose hope!

At the same time, Martian makes you feel like a layman. Had you studied properly in school, you would know every little bit they were throwing out there. If you already know something, it would still make you feel you aren’t nerd enough.

I got this sudden urge to build something when I walked out of the theatre. Guess this flick does that to you. 😉