Benedict Cumberbatch has been able to establish himself quite well amongst the audience over the years with his work and his range in performances. The actor came to notice when he took on the role of Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s modernistic rendition of the character in Sherlock. This would open multiple avenues for the actor as he would get some rather remarkable roles in Hollywood. But amongst all these the definite one has to be his take on the role of Stephen Strange in the MCU. The character drew many parallels from his past role as Sherlock and it did give him a lot of chance as one of the most popular Marvel characters. But the character is rather one-dimensional and this is something that has affected even the solo movie Doctor Strange that dealt with his origin story. The new Benedict Cumberbatch movie, The Power of the Dog proves that the MCU has not been using the actor to his full potential.
This movie felt like a rushed project that just wanted to add the character to the franchise for the end of the Infinity Saga. This was basically done as a means of introducing the Time Stone as even the antagonist for the movie wasn’t very memorable. Mads Mikkelsen is known for his take on villainous roles and yet his character was an absolute throwaway in the MCU. Fans can draw various parallels between Iron Man and this movie and see how similar the characters were developed. Luckily Benedict Cumberbatch has been doing some rather good indie films on the parallel to prove his worth as an actor.
The Power of the Dog
The recent Jane Campion movie gives us a version of Cumberbatch with the role of Phil Burbank which is something we have not witnessed before. In an Academy Award-worthy performance the actor proves what he could do with a character like this as he opens the various layers with his performance as we navigate through a brilliantly done movie. It is quite later in the movie that we see him giving a chance to the rather humane version of the character and the narrative brings it out in the finest possible way.
There are hardly any parallels that can be drawn between the characters of Phil Burbank and Stephen Strange and that is the very thing that proves that Benedict Cumberbatch is a brilliant actor. The movie tells the story of a 1920s rancher in Montana who takes care of the practical ends of their business while his brother George handles the administrative side. Phil is driven by the motives of the ranch and that’s what he thinks makes for an ideal man during that period. But his plans are faltered when his brother falls for Rose and Phil shows his disregard for her and her son. The actor takes on the accent and the physicality of the place in the perfect manner while at the same time dealing with the various depths of the character.
Later in the movie, we see him showing a certain change in his character due to a particular event and this is where we see a lot of focus being put on the nicer tones of his persona. He still shows absolute hatred for Rose but tries to be a better person to Peter while not letting it be too obvious that he has grown softer. Being a closeted person he hates something that even closely resembles something he cannot present about himself when depicted by other people.
Benedict Cumberbatch will return in the character of Stephen Strange in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While we might not see his character take on a turn as he did in The Power of the Dog, it has become obvious that the MCU has not been able to put his character to proper use. The Power of the Dog is available to stream on Netflix.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will be released in theatres worldwide on December 17. It stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Martin Starr, J.B. Smoove, Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons, Jon Favreau, Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, Rhys Ifans, Thomas Haden Church and possibly, the previous two Spider-Men.