Is Dr. Strange worth the price of admission?
I guess that depends on how much you are willing to spend to see it.
I was one of the lucky few who saw it before it’s “Grand Opening”.
Unlike most other heroes of his generation, Dr. Strange was able to capture the attention of drug-riddled hippies and hold that attention for more than a few seconds. Psychedelic art, mysticism, magic, and out of this world experiences reeled fans in quicker than free blizzard day at Dairy Queen.
Impressive, I know.
Just one look at one of his comics from this time period will have you saying “oh, I see.”
All that said, he was never able to capture my attention. So then, why did I go see it so soon?
Simple, I love comic book movies.
Wait a second, before I pigeonhole myself, let me reword that.
I love potentially good comic book movies. Remember, I still haven’t seen Suicide Squad.
Anyway, I went in with a pretty open mind about the movie and the character.
As indicated by the title, this is a movie about Dr. Strange.
Title aside, I will happily admit that I was more fascinated by Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One than Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the Sorceror Supreme wasn’t good. It was spot on. The guy practically looks like Stephen Strange. I actually think that on the day of his birth Marvel Studio Executives were sitting in the waiting room with a branding iron ready to stake claim to their next prize.
To me, the breakout character was Tilda Swinton’s, Ancient One.
Let me explain.
First, the Ancient One is a man in the comics.
She is obviously not.
Marvel took a gamble casting a female to the role of the Ancient One. But that’s what Marvel does, doesn’t it?
They take gambles…very calculated gambles.
The movie is dominated by male actors, and great ones at that, but the executives at Marvel knew that they needed a balance the ratio of sausage to non-sausage characters. Don’t get me wrong, Rachel McAdams did a decent job of shifting the balance a little bit, but she couldn’t do it alone.
Tilda Swinton could and did.
In a world where male characters usually dominate because of size, strength, and power, it is refreshing to see Marvel cast a female as the most powerful character in a movie.
With that being said…
Who is the Ancient One?
The Ancient One was born just over 500 years ago and resides in Kamar-Taj, a village hidden in the Himalayan Mountains.
He was taught the mystical arts at a very young age by a man named Kaluu and the two would walk through life together expanding their knowledge. During their journey’s they would learn to control others and gain the secrets of immortality.
Sign me up.
Unfortunately, as their knowledge expanded, so to did Kaluu’s thirst for power. Kaluu looked to build an empire, while the Ancient One looked only to benefit his village.
A battle between the two ensued with Kaluu banishing the Ancient One to another dimension. Luckily, it was here that he sought out others like him and took up the name the “Ancient One”.
Spoiler alert, he comes back and sets things right.
If it isn’t already apparent, I loved the character. Although, my love for her left me feeling confused and frustrated as I walked out of the theater.
How could a character who receives such a small amount of screen time in comparison to the others, says half the amount of lines as everybody else, and barely shows any emotion, have grabbed my attention so much?
What was it that had me hooked?
I’m proud to say that after numerous hours of deliberation, I finally figured it out, or at least I think I did.
In a movie filled with LSD-inspired hallucinations of bright colors, trippy imagery and reality-bending effects, Tilda Swinton’s character brought the movie a much-needed calm. Her voice was tranquil and her actions fluid as water.
Even when…(I won’t spoil things) she remained quiet and reserved.
Thinking about it sends the same feeling I get as I take a sip of whiskey after a hard day. It just felt right.
High praise, I know.
I would easily watch it again, and because I went without my wife, I will. Maybe on the next viewing, I will pay more attention to everybody else.
Probably not Baron Mordo. He wasn’t my cup of tea.
Haters gonna hate
Yeah, I know. There will be and ar people out there who disagree with me.
Just look it up.
Go to google and type in “Tilda Swinton The Ancient One”.
You’ll see all sorts of people ripping the choice apart and saying that Marvel should never have cast a female as the Ancient One. The role should have gone to an Asian Male actor.
But where would the fun have been in that?
At times, Marvel movies can seem like a literal sausage-fest and this decision is a breath of fresh air.
I actually hope that we see more of this going forward.