Written by Nelson Cumming
Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch has brought his a-game (as he usually does) in Dr. Strange and he is not the only one. There are other actors and filmmakers who also try to trump him. Some of them succeeded, but the thing that works about Dr. Strange is that it wasn’t every person for themselves. It was a movie where everyone working on it were a unit with the goal to make something great and they passed the bar.
Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a masterful neurosurgeon who, after a car accident, loses full usage of his hands. He travels to Nepal hoping that women will restore his hands. That woman is Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who knows how to restore his hands through spiritual and mental healing. She can also conjure magic and travel to different dimensions. After a terrible first impression from Dr.Strange, Ancient One reluctantly agrees to teach him the art of her powers. Little does Dr. Strange know that he is being trained to help stop an evil power set to destroy reality.
A Contribution Is A Contribution No Matter How Small
It’s just so great to see a huge blockbuster movie that didn’t clash due to egos (well, except for Cumberbatch’s character of course). I could tell that despite all the money that was poured into Dr. Strange, everyone knew their roles, their artistic freedoms, and limitations and used their tools effectively. Watching it, it felt like the whole was better than the sum of its parts.
Let me elaborate. Tilda Swinton plays a supporting role as Ancient One. She balances her character out with toughness, humility, fairness and a pinch of humor. She plays as the mentor of Dr. Strange. Swinton know that all she can do is support and she does it. The scriptwriters made her the wise person who always knew what to say. While that worked for the most part, she kept pontificating scenes with the philosophical one-liners during important and poignant scenes. I believe any movie should be a show-me medium instead of a tell-me medium. The great thing is that Swinton was so good that it barely mattered.
If movies are a show me medium then the special effects more than help that viewpoint. Every dollar spent on special effects is on the screen. They had no limits in that department and it shows. As Doctor Strange delves into various places and dimensions, the special effects are there to reflect that. They are colorful, psychedelic, abstract and vibrant. There are moments in those scenes that were directly inspired from Inception but boy was it beautiful. It’s a movie where you can put it on Imax because the visuals are so colourful and easy to look at.
Oh and I seem to have forgotten someone… oh yeah Benedict Cumberbatch. That guy was made for the role. Cumberbatch looks like him and knows how to speak fluently and with high-order language (he is the guy who plays the title character in Sherlock after all). I don’t know if this was intentional but I noticed he reduced the tremors in his hands as the movie went on. If that was intentional, that was some awesome, minute, fine-tuned detail.
Just watching this movie was a pleasure, especially the visual effects. Doctor Strange just felt vibrant and full of life and has an interesting story that you don’t hear too often (except maybe in the sci-fi genre). It is one of those blockbusters that is guaranteed to make at least $700 million. I just know it. In a month call me out if I am somehow wrong. It’s another success in the Marvel Catalogue ****1/4