Film Review South Africa

#OnTheBigScreen: Operation Mincemeat and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

This week you can uncover the most extraordinary true story Operation Mincemeat and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness pushes the fantasy genre into a more foreboding place.
#OnTheBigScreen: Operation Mincemeat and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat tells a factual story that is far stranger than fiction. This real-life event proved a vital turning point in the Second World War. It is fair to say that it fundamentally altered the future of Europe. As the Allies prepared to invade mainland Europe in 1943, they were desperate to avoid the slaughter of their troops by the German forces that they knew would mass in southern Italy. So they hatched an astounding plan to dupe the Nazis into believing that they would land in Greece rather than Sicily. They came up with a deception which defies belief and which has now been turned into an absorbing movie.

It’s 1943. The Allies are determined to break Hitler’s grip on occupied Europe and plan an all-out assault on Sicily, but they face an impossible challenge – how to protect a massive invasion force from the potential massacre. It falls to two remarkable intelligence officers, Ewen Montagu (Colin Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Matthew Macfadyen), to dream the most inspired and improbable disinformation strategy of the war – centred on the most unlikely of secret agents: a dead man.

Ben Macintyre, the bestselling author on whose book of the same name the film is based, explains why this scarcely credible episode was such a pivotal moment in the global conflict. “Operation Mincemeat was probably the most successful military deception operation ever carried out. What the deceivers had to do was to try to persuade the Germans that black was white and white was black. And they did this in the most extraordinary way. It now sounds like it comes straight out of fiction, which is exactly where it came from.”

The fictional origins of the plot, which was codenamed Operation Mincemeat, are very strong. It was conceived by none other than Ian Fleming (played in the film by South African actor Johnny Flynn), who of course went on to create the immensely successful James Bond novels.

"It has elements of a Second World War film that you don't normally see. It takes great joy in human endeavour. It's a story about a group of people on the fringes who come together to do something important, not for medals or prestige, but for a higher purpose. The idea of coming together for the common good is really important. It's a beautiful, feel-good story, a story of great hope. It offers an uplifting message about the benefits of teamwork, ” says Katherine Bridle, the head of film development at See-Saw Films.

Directed by John Madden from a screenplay by Michelle Ashford, based on the bestseller by Ben Macintyre.

Read more here.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

53 years after Doctor Strange made his first appearance in the Marvel Comic Strange Tales, at the hands of artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee, the master of mystic arts enjoyed a triumphant superhero welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Doctor Strange, and now returns to unlock the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

In Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.

“When Kevin Feige announced that he wanted to bring a little bit of a horror element to Doctor Strange, that was interesting to me,” explains director Sam Raimi. “Horror and suspense have always been fun aspects of moviemaking to me. One of the reasons I’m interested in Doctor Strange as a character is because he’s a magician. Growing up, I was a magician for kids’ parties and weddings. I really enjoyed creating illusions. A superhero who is an illusionist and a magician is of particular interest.”

Benedict Cumberbatch, who returns as Doctor Strange, whose new adventure in the Multiverse also takes him on a journey of self-discovery, says, “Strange sees, through his experience in the Multiverse and the various versions of him in the Multiverse, how much of a pattern of behaviour he carries. It’s a kind of imprint, an identification of who Doctor Stephen Strange is in any universe and what the dangers of that character are. Is he going to be the hero to his enemy or the enemy to his hero? Who is our Doctor Strange in the Multiverse? He’s literally coming up against versions of himself to figure that out.”

The film is directed by Sam Raimi, from a screenplay crafted by Michael Waldron, who recently served as head writer and executive producer on Marvel Studios’ Loki series for Disney+.

Read more here.

Read more about the latest and upcoming film releases here.

About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit
Let's do Biz