“If you must blink, do it now.”
These lines from Laika’s animated feature film Kubo and the Two Strings, stands true for the recent character introduction film in the Marvel verse “Doctor Strange”. Standing true to the hype and expectations built over the months, Doctor Strange is everything we could have asked for. As psychedelic and trippy the teasers and trailers were, the film transcends us into a whole new different world.
Right at the start, the tone for the movie is established and we know what we are in for. Not delving much into the storyline, the movie revolves around the talented, arrogant and egotistical neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident loses the use of his hands. His co-worker and former lover Christine Palmer who tries to help him move on, encounters a cold Strange who lashes out at her. Finally he realises that he must let go of his self-centeredness to learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions from the Ancient One.
As Avengers safeguard the world from physical dangers, Strange by utilising a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts must protect the universe from the mystical threats (Dormammu) which will be brought by Kaecillius from the Dark Dimension.
To bring this multi-dimensional universe to life, a director’s vision supported by the actor’s performance is a must. And director Scott Derrickson deserves an applause for delivering such an exhilarating film which is difficult to conceptualise due to its imaginary set-up and storyline. Sticking to what Marvel is known for – its humour, Doctor Strange not just has the comic element but also has a serious tone attached to it which can be observed during the intense scene between Strange and Palmer.
Benedict Cumberbatch as the arrogant, self-centered doctor delivers his role brilliantly. His transition from the egotistical man to a broken yet arrogant self to the sorceror he becomes has been beautifully encapsulated. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer, Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One all have played their parts well. Benedict Wong as Wong with his comic timing manages to leave a mark on the viewers.
Doctor Strange has been coined as a film full of psychedelic and trippy visuals and to execute them successfully, VFX and CGI team played a huge role. The film wouldn’t have been what it is without the immense work put by the VFX houses like Industrial Light & Magic (VFX Supervisor: Richard Bluff), Framestore (VFX supervisors: Rob Duncan, Mark Wilson and Jonathan Fawkner), Luma Pictures (VFX supervisor: Vincent Cirelli), Method Studios (VFX supervisor: Chad Wiebe), Rise FX (VFX supervisor: Florian Gellinger), Crafty Apes (VFX supervisors: Chris LeDoux and Tim LeDoux) and SPOV. The production VFX supervisor is Stephane Ceretti.
Directed by Scott Derrickson, produced by Kevin Feige and written by Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts, the movie keeps us glued to our seats, anticipating for the next move. Doctor Strange has begun casting his spell from 4 November, 2016.
Verdict: A visual spectacle that needs to be witnessed on the large 3D screens (preferably IMAX) by the superhero lovers. As usual there is the mid-credit and post-credit scenes, so be there till the end!
Doctor Strange will return…. Excelsior!