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DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, the 28th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is all set to hit screens this weekend. Taking the Marvel saga forward, the film introduces some new characters and looks back at some of the old ones. But, will this new film, keep in line with previous films in the MCU, or will it offer a new take, with new superheroes that take the story forward is what we analyse.
Set a few months after the happenings in SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME , DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS follows Dr. Stephen Strange who casts a forbidden spell to erase the identity of Spider-Man from peoples’ minds. However, things get out of hand, as the spell opens up the doorway to the multiverse. With alternate versions of different character being able to traverse between timelines and universes, Strange is left to deal with the fallout. However, things come to a head when an alternate version of himself poses the biggest threat to humanity. Will the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff be enough to save this reality, or will they be overpowered is what makes up the rest of the film.
Right from the start, the viewer is informed that unlike the previous MCU films, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS will feature darker characters and on screen preceding. So strap in and gearup for a rollercoaster ride. The film starts with a basic introduction to the main characters of Doctor Strange aka Stephen Strange, America Chavez, Wanda Maximof aka Scarlet Witch. Once established the viewers are introduced the multiverse and what has happened post the sequences in Spider-Man.
Starting off the film is a bit slow, however towards the interval the pace picks up. But despite this, there are multiple instances when the viewer is left disconnected, making the on screen visuals a side happening. These instances act as major drawbacks taking away from the film. Post the interval, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS does manage to salvage the situation, with more action and a faster pace the film manages to regain the audiences attention. Sadly towards the climax things go down hill yet again with certain sequences seeming too drawn out. A better edit, could have salvaged the situation as well as shaved off a few minutes from the overall runtime. As for what to expect, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS has some good moments, clap worthy sequences and jump scares that are sure to give the viewer a start.
In terms of performances, Benedict Cumberbatch has done well in his role of Doctor Strange, as has Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlett Witch/ Wanda Maximof is equally strong. Especially since she features majorly. Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez has done well, though seemingly underutilized she manages to shine in her limited role. As for the others, each have put their best foot forward in executing their given roles. Rachel McAdams has a much meatier part, as compared to her act in the previous DOCTOR STRANGE film.
Director Sam Rami has done exceedingly well with the film. Despite facing the challenge of margining different realities and story versions into a single linear plot, he has done a brilliant job of storytelling. With dark and heavy moments well interspersed with humour and light-hearted banter Rami ensures the film is an easy watch. For the MCU fans, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS has its share of Easter eggs and call back references to both films and comic series that come as a pleasant surprise. Here a special mention needs to be made about the background score. Assisting Rami in delivering a visual treat is the audio score that thrills. With well-modulated highs and crescendos that build up, the climax perfectly Danny Elfman had done exceeding well. A mention needs to be made about a crucial sequence involving musical instruments with an audio track that follows the on screen happenings with precision, both Rami and Elfman have done a fabulous job of coordinating.
John Mathieson has done equally well with cinematography that depicts the visuals developed by Michael Waldron who has adapted Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s works from the comics. While, of course the comics would include more, Waldron has touched upon all that is important for the future films.
Overall, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS is definitely a must watch. Gripping, visually stunning, dark yet humourous, the film takes the viewers on a rollercoaster ride. For a Marvel fan, this film is almost a peek into what to expect from future MCU releases. However the long drawn sequences and pace issues do considerable damage to retaining the viewers interest. At the box office, the film will do well especially with a rather clear run. However, one cannot expect it to rival the business of the recently released SPIDER-MAN film.
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