Year: 2016, DVD released February 28, 2017 (North America)

In my previous post on Doctor Strange I described the spiritual journey that this film raises, just the spiritual journey.

In today’s post I am asking, first of all, what sort of spirituality do we have with Doctor Strange? It has been described as sorcery. Somewhere else it was called mysticism. Having watched the movie it tends to look like the occult and magic, with a visual effects spin, and a shade Hollywood. But what is it? I take The Ancient One’s words as an answer. She calls the other world a world of the ‘spirit’. This means we can explore the film’s spirituality in terms of ‘spirit’. We don’t have to take the spirituality too literally, but as a general theme that people understand.

For a start, Doctor Strange is unique in that it brings to the mainstream spirituality. Not faith, but spirituality. Films don’t usually do this so plainly.

Spiritual realm

Doctor Stephen Strange is a cocky neurosurgeon, but an accident renders him disabled with severe nerve damage.  Read: life altering event changing everything about his life, and altering his destiny.

The doctor is romantically linked to Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) who he works with, but their once serious relationship is on hold, especially as he has taken off to Nepal for life altering healing.

It never entered his mind that there is a spiritual world and he sees for himself. This is where a rational mind set—so much part of the Western way of thinking—meets the unexpected spiritual reality.

Strange is told by The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) that the ‘spirit’ can help him cope better with his disability.

People go to spirituality when the chips are down even though spirituality may not have figured prominently in their lives before an accident or onset of a disability.

In the spiritual realm, he discovers that there is more going on. What he discovers in the spiritual realm is that there are players in a battle for the rule of the world. Some players are dark and some are light. Strange gets involved in this battle and thus becomes a superhero. The ‘spirit’ strengthens him to be this hero.

The movie

The spiritual battle isn’t subtle. There are plenty of magically-imbued scenes, code word for action. Characters move things with their will, you know that sort of thing, done with visual effects magic. No profanity or sex. The only real gruesome moment is at the start.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Pictured right) stars as neurosurgeon Doctor Strange in Marvel Media's Doctor Strange. (Image sourced via google images).
Benedict Cumberbatch (Pictured right) stars as neurosurgeon Doctor Strange in Marvel Media’s Doctor Strange. (Image sourced via google images).

British actor Cumberbatch is esteemed for his sophisticated wit and word play in the British television series Sherlock.

In Doctor Strange, Cumberbatch again spouts off a few one-liners that are meant to be amusing—in a Hollywood sense and not a British one.

Some of the supporting roles aren’t as fine as I expected. I expected more from Mads Mikkelsen, as a baddie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, as a mystical character in the Ancient One’s fraternity.

Not a great or even good Marvel film, but I am not a Marvel fan either. It treats the spiritual subject, but the film is strangely underwhelming. Probably too much whizz bang when it started off with a subtle entrée of matters of the ‘spirit’ which was more interesting.

Perhaps a bit of quiet contemplation is in order after watching this more larger than life spirituality.

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