(This is not a review. Reviews always contain spoilers. It’s a conversation with Mark, the computer scientist.)
“Doctor Strange”: Eastern philosophy meets Einstein’s theory of relativity meets Hegel meets Zen meets ashtanga meets…enthrallment:
Conversations with a Millennial
(After the screening of “Doctor Strange”):
Me: Maganda! (Enthralling!). Eastern philosophy meets Einstein’s theory of relativity…
Mark: Yeah… (Mark’s co-authored undergrad thesis in “self-mutating algorithm” won a Microsoft Developer’s Conference Award from Redmond, Washington in 2014 awarded by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella)
Me (trying to impress Mark with my 3 units of G.E. nat sci in physics, where I got a…ahem…the same flat vertical grade i got in humanities): Interesting di ba, they played on the time-space continuum. Space can be folded.
Mark: Yeah… (Mark obviously had more math and physics units than I did)
Me: But it’s all theoretical…
Mark: No, not really…
Me: Ha, bakit, di ba theoretical lahat yon (isn’t all of that theoretical)
Mark: Gravity… can bend time and space.
(Uh-oh, what did I get myself into…I’m just a lawyer… with 45 units of G.E. courses )
Me: But that’s also theoretical…
Mark: Not really. There have been experiments. Light refraction. Gravity can bend light. And light has a specific velocity.
Me: So… because light can be refracted… light represents space… and because you can refract light… you can fold space…
Mark: and time…. (and he went on to discuss how space is like a moving train as we were walking from the mall to the lobby and lost me at third floor — when did these kids get to be smarter than most of us)
If you’ve ever had brushes with Zen or ashtanga or Buddhism or Einstein, or Hegel, catch this film and be caught off-guard by the quick-witted exchange between neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange and the guru named “The Ancient One” — fast-paced, sharp, and funny all at the same time. (the character is originally Tibetan but they cast Tilda Swinton, ano ba; yun lang ang kainis dito)… the existentialist dialogue made digestible by Hollywood for you.
The best lines are those in the balcony scene. (this will be very general in order not to put spoilers): The Ancient One has the ability to fold time and space. She has done so hundreds of times. And thru lifetimes she has tried to see beyond infinity yet… she is always brought to this balcony where the universe stands motionless – and she theorizes why this is so…(i’ve cut this short to remove spoilers)
But even if you don’t like clashes in world views and ideas, the film offers the best CGIs to fill your appetite for bubble gum movies as Marvel Studio productions go (although I don’t like the CGI for Dormammu the destroyer character, it’s too cartoony, not frightening at all). The script is witty and the actors have perfect timing.
So… Is Benedict Cumberbatch the heir to Robert Downey Jr.’s throne? Mark disagrees. He said Robert Downey Jr.’s own personality is so close to the character of Tony Stark that the audience thinks it makes sense .
Hmm. Cumberbatch can conjure strangeness. I think. He’s British.
In all, the film leaves you breathless.