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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:

Spotlight Review (2015)

An eye-opener! Spotlight throws spotlight on the ugly side of faith. An issue lodged so profusely in the streams of religion that it goes either unnoticed or remains unlit. Plot: A team of reporters work conscientiously to bring child abuse by priests into the forefront by illuminating the dark hollows of the ugly tactics of the church.

The movie addresses the issue slyly and then dives into it fully fledged owing to the inclusion of a new concerned editor Marty Baron, played superbly by Liev Schreiber whose words make a difference and reignite the died out flame of Walter Robby Robinson (Michael Keaton) who along with his meticulous and diligent team rush in to address the elephant in the room. Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) are both outstanding. They look forever engaged in their pursuit, whilst Mark Ruffalo as Mike Rezendes can’t be ignored. Mark gets into the skin of Mike and creates a new persona altogether, an earnest committed fella who would stop at nothing to nail the molesters. It is almost as he disappears into that stream of acting. Watch him lose it like a maniac!

There are other brilliant characters in the movie that can’t be left uncredited owing to their enthralling acting. Like that of John Slattery as Ben Bradlee, Jr. who fits into the bossy shoes pretty great. Also, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Jamey Sheridan who were all mesmerizing in their little fleeting acts.

Screenplay of the movie is well written. Becomes very thoughtful at times. The work the people do in the flick will make you feel worthless. So, crucial bringing issues in the dark to the front page! They deserve an ovation.

“That’s why I never got married. I am too busy. What I do is too important.”

The aforementioned is said by Mitchell Garabedian played brilliantly by Stanley Tucci. You could almost read how concerned and thoughtful the guy is from his looks.

Spotlight comes up with a beautiful plot of mind-boggling revelations that will make you hate the religious conventions that hide the truth. It is a dead on collision between the media and the system, which remarkably addresses the church functioning snags. To say that the issue just circles around church would be an understatement. It is a global phenomena, something so ugly that it hardly makes news. This flick beats the odds to come up a victor. Kudos to the thoughtful media on this one!

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Spotlight begins with a hushed conversation and a free priest getting away with a horrendous crime. The prologue is reflective of how untouched and unscathed they feel under the aegis of their religious fallacy. How unfazed they feel around the law! Believing they are closer to God they could get away with anything! The perpetrator walks on to his car, escorted by a bigger authority from the Church as the helpless law (a policeman) watches their car drive through a mist of smoke into the oblivion.

It delves deep into some outstanding reporting too which is well captured by Tom McCarthy that shows us how extraordinary the efforts of Boston Globe reporters really were in bringing out the issue at hand into the limelight. The final result will gratify you and if you are the empathizing kind, you will feel the cold yet comforting gaze of justice from the end credits.

The world’s full of sexual predators. They could be masked as priests too. To look the other way is not the solution. If it is happening in your corridors, speak up. Crime’s after all a crime. Something needs to be done or the world will go blind.

Southpaw Review (2015)

Southpaw is high on punch, but low on script.

Antoine Fuqua’s latest venture isn’t huge or the next best thing in a series of boxing movies we have seen so far. He had a clichéd script with him which he tried to weave into a movie. So what works in his favour and how did he manage to pull it off? The answer – Jake Gyllenhaal. Period.

You can almost read the tenacity in Jake’s eyes, the commitment in his body and the way he pulls anything off. He has gone pro in acting and he wears every skin endeavoring to erase his name, to don a character so brilliantly that people forget the guy under the skin. He creates a new personality altogether that walks, moves and talks differently.

Whitaker does a pretty good job as a trainer. Drama isn’t that great but manages to pull through, at times visiting sentient frames. The movie misses out on imparting gravity to characters like Jordan Mains, Hoppy, Jon Jon etc. who work as mere backdrops to the badass Billy Hope. Escobar played by Miguel Gomez disappears like noise too, since he fails to properly unfurl his limited time perversion.

SPOILERS AHEAD:

Some of the badass bits that are worth noticing are – when the flick begins in rad pizazz with Hope listening to music whilst getting wrist wrapped. Ample time is spent on the beginning act which looks pretty dope. Also the aftermath of Billy losing Maureen has been shot pretty nicely. The father-daughter relationship that goes sour has been properly depicted by both Jake and Oona’s acting prowess. The boxing matches are pretty great to watch. Thrilling and the way it should be – natural.

Southpaw loses out on intensity. The story is quite clichéd and the screenplay doesn’t raise brows. At the end of it becomes nothing but mediocre. If it weren’t for Jake Gyllenhaal’s awesome acting, the movie could have simply passed as yet another boxing movie where the actor is bent on seeking redemption.

Go watch it if you love boxing, or Jake. 😉