“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” addresses emotion and pain



“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was released to the big screen on May 6 and has grossed over $800 million at the box office.

As the end credit scene of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” rolled by, one could feel a surge of frustration, confliction and anger as they pondered the ending of the movie they had just watched.

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was released May 6th, featuring characters familiar to Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans, including Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange and Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff. The film also included some new faces, such as Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez. Though being packed with death and action, and despite its many issues, the film focuses on how people deal with happiness.

Near the beginning of the film, Doctor Strange meets America Chavez, a young girl from another universe who holds the power to move between universes. When Strange learns that Chavez is being followed by demons, he travels to Wanda Maximoff in search of her help in keeping Chavez safe.

However, Strange soon discovers that Maximoff has been using the Darkhold, an evil grimoire, and is trying to take Chavez’s power, killing her in the process. Maximoff does this because she wants to leave for another universe in which she can live with her children, who died in Wandavision. Wandavision is a Disney Plus show in which, after Vision’s death and her return from Thanos’ snap, Maximoff attempts to create a different reality, taking over the minds of an entire town in the process, in order to live a life with Vision.

Following Maximoff’s transformation into the antagonist, Chavez and Strange wind up in another universe, where they meet a number of famous heroes and have to fight Maximoff, who is in control of the body of the Wanda from that universe. Eventually, Maximoff takes Chavez and Strange is left stranded in yet another universe. The film concludes with Chavez showing Maximoff that she wouldn’t be able to live with her children in another universe, and subsequently Maximoff destroys the building which held the original transcription of the dark hold, and possibly dies in the process.

Faced with the challenge of turning a beloved hero into a treacherous villain, I felt that the film did an incredible job in ensuring that viewers maintained a sense of sympathy for Maximoff, despite her countless murders. I found one particular moment, in which Maximoff explains that in all other universes besides hers she lives a happy life with her children, to be incredibly heart wrenching, given the care that I had developed for the character after “Wandavision.”

Another heart-wrenching moment is when Chavez opens a portal to the universe with the Wanda that Maximoff had possessed earlier in the film, and Maximoff interacts with her children from that universe, who appear afraid of her. This prompts Maximoff to eventually choose to sacrifice herself in order to destroy the building with the transcription of the dark hold, which gave me tremendous feelings of sympathy for Maximoff. After seeing her sacrifice so much in “Wandavision,” it was difficult to watch her grapple with never being able to have the life she desires.

However, if it truly is the last time we see this version of Maximoff, I found her ending incredibly frustrating. Following “Wandavision,” in which she sacrificed her happiness, children and her husband, I think Maximoff is arguably the character that most deserves a happy ending in the MCU. Thus, to me, seeing her become a vicious villain felt like a terrible conclusion to a tragic hero.

Additionally, I thought the film featured very little development for its main characters, especially in their dealings with their happiness. In the beginning of the movie, Strange is revealed to be rather unhappy and, by its conclusion, it seems to me as though he is merely content with his life, not truly happy. He doesn’t end up with the woman he loves, nor does he even tell her his true feelings, he only tells a version of her from a different universe. As for Maximoff, she begins the movie grief stricken and miserable, and ends feeling essentially the same way, just, similar to Strange, accepting her fate.

Although the film had many flaws, I thought it boasted incredible action sequences and moments. Near the conclusion, Strange controls the corpse of himself brought from another universe with Chavez. In, what I thought to be an incredible scene, Strange fights Maximoff with wings, made out of souls, attached to his back.

Despite its many issues, the film chose to look at acceptance of emotions and how people deal with happiness in different ways. Though the world is fictional, the topics are real, and incredibly relevant in our own conflicted world.