Movies reviewed this week: Doctor Strange, Trolls, The Perfect Weapon and Bollywatch: Shivaay (Starring: Ajay Devgn).
Superhero movies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, I have always enjoyed the genre and have appreciated it for what it can offer. I think of such films as fictionalised forms of powerful human beings, who merely adopt a cover under various circumstances, save for Marvel’s Deadpool perhaps.
This means that, underneath the superpowers and gadgetry, there still lies a human being. On the other hand, Doctor Strange fails to capture humanising the superhero as he delves into magic, spells and sigils, in an almost Harry Potter-sort of a way.
Desperate neurosurgeon Steven Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has met with a nasty accident, leading to severe nerve damage to his fingers. When he heads into the world of mysticism, he goes to Tibet to seek counsel from the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Here, he learns that life is about more than what he has perceived it to be, and he is soon pushed out of reality and into a bout of hallucinations.
Making the effects of magic resemble a terrifying delirium breathes new life into the tired old concept of spellcasting but the resulting visuals are quite a spectacle.
Credit where credit’s due: Benedict Cumberbatch fits into the realm of magicians and witchcraft with much efficacy but then again, that has more to do with his versatility as an actor and nothing more (despite his annoying American accent).
Doctor Strange soon finds himself to be supernaturally gifted and rises through the ranks quickly, starts dressing like a cosplayer straight out of Comic-Con, grows a very questionable goatee and learns of a secret plot to destroy the world. This, dear folks, is why Doctor Strange fails to fit into the Marvel universe.
Review by Alvin Thomas
The Trolls are small creatures who live in an almost perpetual state of happiness. However, when the Bergens (large unhappy creatures who find happiness by eating Trolls) hold the entire race captive, they are forced to dig their way to safety. Fast-forward to today, and Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) is throwing a party to commemorate the Trolls’ day of freedom. But the party attracts the Bergens yet again, who take many Trolls captive. Now, Poppy and Branch (Justin Timberlake) must embark on an adventure to save their race from being eaten alive. It is quite an interesting watch, even for young adults.
The year is 2045, and society is now under the control of the powerful State and a dictator, who goes by the name Director (Steven Seagal). Condor (Johnny Messner) is the go-to hitman for the State. However, when a reunion with someone he thought was dead forces him to reconsider who his enemies truly are, he is forced to go on the run from a seemingly vicious government. Not worth your time or money.
In a seemingly unreal turn of events, Ajay Devgn is seen taking on the role of a real hero (for once) in the form of Shivaay, a Himalayan mountaineer. When his failed relationship with tourist Olga (Erika Kaar) leaves him with a daughter (Gaura), he is forced to go to her home country of Bulgaria to find her. During the trip, however, Shivaay stumbles upon young children who are being trafficked through Bulgaria to other parts of the world. He bravely steps up to save one of the children, and is accorded much fame for his act. But when the traffickers kidnap Gaura, Shivaay is seen taking on a war with the kidnappers as well as the Bulgarian authorities.