Movie Review: Doctor Strange

Title: Doctor Strange
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Sci-Fi
Star Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong
Director: Scott Derrickson
Duration: 1 hour 55 minutes

Neither am I someone who is invested in the Marvel Universe nor am I someone who waits eagerly for their movie releases. So it was obvious that when the release of Doctor Strangewas announced, I didn’t really know much about the character. But honestly, you don’t need to know him to understand his story.

The Marvel world is full of characters and quite seriously not everyone can keep a tab on it. So all you guys who aren’t familiar with this character, Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a world-famous neurosurgeon, whose high flying career comes to a standstill after a car crash that damages both his hands severely.

There are two kinds of superhero stories; one where the whole story revolves around the superhero character and somehow you end up watching the same variation of the story, again and again; let’s say, for example, the Superman kinds. The other kind is where a story is built to understand the superhero character, so that interesting sequels can follow. A lot is done to understand the character’s history and dynamics, which makes it sequel worthy. Doctor Strange belongs to the latter category.

Director Scott Derrickson has put together an esteemed cast that does justice to the characters they are playing. The filmmaker has tried to bring out the best and has done a good job of developing the characters.

Cumberbatch sports a goatee and dons the avatar of Doctor Strange, who is arrogant, foolish, has a colossal ego, and a good sense of humour. After the accident, when medical science fails to give him his hands back he desperately turns to alternative cure and flies to Kathmandu, Nepal, to be a student of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton).

She is the leader of the coterie of monks with superpowers and who understands time dimensions. Rachel McAdams plays Doctor Strange’s love interest. Strange who just want his hands to be cured finds that there is a lot in store for him when a former student of the Ancient One (Mads Mikkelsen) returns with the ultimate aim to destroy the world.

For someone like me who is just familiar with Marvel’s X-Men series, Iron Man and the latest Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange is Tony Stark in a red magic cape. While the movie Iron Man is all about Robert Downey Jr.’s performance, Doctor Strange has a sardonic hero element that makes it more interesting.

Doctor Strange is like you and me. He pokes fun at the mumbo-jumbo in the movie. And that’s hilarious and smart because that’s a new addition to the whole mad science fiction world, space theories that Marvel movies revolve around.

Doctor Strange’s journey isn’t extraordinary; it’s like Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins but with better VFX. You get to see the space and cityscape that multiplies, bends, and splits within seconds and gets back to its original form within seconds.

The movie has nothing new to offer but for someone who isn’t into the Marvel Universe and isn’t a superhero fan, this movie is ‘cool’ and a light watch. Benedict Cumberbatch is spot on and plays the doctor who is strange but cool. His one-liners are humorous and he makes it an entertaining watch.

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