I realize this is the first time I’ve posted a movie review in a long time or for that matter anything other than a book review in a long time. However, it has been a very long time since I have actually been to see a movie in the theater, much less on it’s opening weekend. (Spoilers ahead!)
Today my husband and I went to see Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. (Again, this is hardly the first time I’ve posted about the Marvel universe, but it has admittedly been a long time since I’ve done so.)
I have to say I was blown away. I love Dr. Strange and Benedict Cumberbatch in anything, but what really got me excited was the evolution of Elizabeth Olsen’s character, The Scarlet Witch. For fans of the movie and TV franchise, Scarlet Witch a.k.a. Wanda Maximoff was forced to kill her lover Vision to keep one of the Infinity Stones from the hands of Thanos.
The fallout of this, detailed in Wandavision, was an immensely powerful, grieving super being that had the ability to re-create the world as she wished it to be, by controlling minds and building illusions so realistic, she believed them herself. When she was forced to dispel her illusions, she lost herself grieving for the life she imagined, the life that included two young boys.
In the new movie, Wanda is aware of the multiverse thanks to studying a book of dark magic. She is also aware that Dr. Strange is protecting a young girl who has the power to travel between multiple universes, including those where the two boys she lost exist. Wanda is determined to possess this power for herself, heedless of the fact it will mean the death of the young girl, America Chavez, played by Xochiti Gomez, and all those who are protecting her as well as the integrity of the multiverse from incursion and destruction.
In the end, the only way to stop Wanda is by allowing her alternate-self’s children to see the monster she has become. The boys fear her because they see what she would do to their real mother. This leads to Wanda effectively stopping herself and destroying the evil book, so no one else can be tempted to do as she has done.
Wanda is a grieving mother, denied the children she so desperately wanted. Does that excuse her trip to the dark side? Not really, but it’s hard to think of her as a true villain of the story. The audience can be both horrified at the lengths she was willing to go, and empathize with her for her grief and loneliness.
I give this movie five stars, and can’t wait for the next installment in this franchise. This movie is currently showing in a theater near you.