Verdict: Marvel's bewitching introduction to the world of mysticism.
Marvel movies are supposed to be the ultimate delight to watch. The whole plan of the MCU as it begins to unfold is going to be remembered for generations. We are in Phase Two of this epic series and things just seem to be getting started. Marvel is taking it slow while they are trying to introduce the audience to the world of the unknown. We started with the genius, billionaire, philanthropist, playboy who is also known as Iron Man and then we came to know the stormy green side-effects of gamma radiation. They went one step beyond by introducing the concept of realms and other worlds just to go to the past and introduce yet another character to give us the Avengers. After that, Marvel stepped into Phase Two and gave us a bunch of new characters with the Guardians of the Galaxy. We thought we had seen it all but they still had a couple of couple of aces up their sleeve. Doctor Strange is one of the them.
We see Bruce Wayne-like neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who has photographic memory and prefers to do music trivia while performing complicated surgeries. He prefers to only take the cases which challenge him and have some hope instead of ones for which he knows the outcome. He comes across as all the billionaire superheroes we have seen before with a penchant for really fast cars. Unfortunately, he meets with an accident which creates a tremor in his fingers which renders him handicapped to perform the surgeries he used to excel at. (Kids, never text and drive.) After undergoing lots of high-end surgeries and spending all his savings, his problem is not solved. Until he hears of a place called Kamar-Taj which seems like his last hope. He steps into a world he knew nothing of and a world he would fit into magically.
Right from the opening sequence, the film told us that it is going to be a Marvel movie but it's going to be a different. They chose to introduce the villain first rather than introducing the protagonist. But we are not complaining as we saw a glimpse of all these sorcerers could do and the beautiful effects that awaited us as we proceeded. As other Marvel movies go, we meet the titular character who has his own flaws before he is trained and sets out to defeat a villain who is ten-folds more powerful than the hero. This is a similar story to other Marvel movies- but they have managed to make this ultra-serious character also somewhat like Tony Stark, with his snarky one-liners and jokes which no one would laugh at. The effects are a bit reminiscent of Inception but this movie goes much beyond those. The CGI is expertly done without those raw effects which can sometimes ruin a cinematic experience.
The ensemble of actors have done an excellent job of handling the magical aspects with the graceful flair which should accompany a magic movie. Each magical sequence is expertly choreographed and it just seems to flow from one scene to another. Benedict Cumberbatch proves that he can don as many faces as you give him. Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One portrays all the wisdom the name carries. Mads Mikkelson is certainly a formidable foe to Strange.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Marvel is yet again expanding our horizons into expecting different kinds of heroes and threats to our world. Watch as they insert minor foreshadows of the future of the series, as everything comes together in the Infinity War. Watch this because Marvel delivers yet another gem. Watch it for Stan Lee's hilarious cameo, and please do not leave before watching the mid-credits and post-credits scenes.