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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

WandaVision first impression: MCU at its weirdest

WandaVision is funny, zany and off-kilter. Oh, and a whole lot of fun so far.

Written by Kshitij Rawat | New Delhi |
Updated: January 16, 2021 8:33:34 am
WandaVisionWandaVision will stream on Disney Plus Hotstar Premium. (Photo: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)

“WandaVision will be unlike anything we’ve done before,” Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige had told CNN in 2019. A tall claim to make in a franchise like MCU that has had Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor Ragnarok. And after having seen three episodes, one can say for certain that he wasn’t at all bluffing.

WandaVision brings back Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) — latter from the dead — and drops them into an ever-shifting reality that is based on classic American sitcoms. Is it an alternate reality? Is this Wanda’s way of coping with the grief of Vision’s death? We don’t know, yet.

But while watching the show, you are hardly going to care about any of that. For the main source of fun in this Jac Schaeffer creation is not the usual MCU underpinnings — superpowers, extra-terrestrial threats and so on — but the actual setting (or shall I say settings?).

At least so far. The visual style, costumes, hairdos are not just trappings — the makers actually use it to a great effect. Even the humour and visual effects in WandaVision evokes the 50s, 60s and 70s sitcoms.

We do get a couple of hints as to what is really happening, and there are homages to the comic storylines WandaVision is inspired by. A few glitches in the matrix, so to speak. But the main focus of the first few episodes is to deliver a superhero sitcom, and in that WandaVision succeeds to a great extent.

Both Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are wonderful as a couple struggling to keep their powers in check and appear normal. The actors get a chance to settle in and flesh out their take on their respective characters. Vision, a stoic and aloof android in the movies, becomes somebody you would never have expected.

Overall, WandaVision is funny, zany and impressively off-kilter. Oh, and a whole lot of fun. It is also something you will not have imagined to see in a MCU series.

WandaVision is streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar Premium.

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