Monday, September 23, 2013

Oz, The Great And Powerful And Misunderstood

     Co-workers told me, "Oh, it's okay.  But the Wizard doesn't have much of a character arc and it fell kinda flat."

     Not sure we saw the same movie.  The Mouse did good.  Oz, The Great And Powerful is a remarkable homage to L. Frank Baum in theme and style, at times almost heartbreakingly sweet with just enough story for grown-ups added to keep it interesting.  By the time we get to the end, we can see the man Dorothy Gale meets, decades later, in the MGM movie. It's something of an ensemble film, too, with the witches and the Wizard's chance companions being more than mere supporting players.

     I think it's an excellent film and Oscar -- the Wizard of Oz -- grows quite remarkably over the course of it.  Recommended, if you still have a child's heart; especially recommended if you're familiar with the source material and modern re-imagings.

     And perhaps that's where my friends were lost.  If you haven't seen the Judy Garland film since childhood (and a pity if you've not; cultural baggage aside, it's charming), if you never read any Oz books, or Wicked and especially the three books that follow it--  Well, you may not know the place well enough for the movie to hold together.  (Too, it's possible this is more of a "chick flick," tugging at heartstrings as it does.  I don't know.  Perhaps one of you rough and tough types could tell me?)

     Lushly shot (and special-effected), nicely-acted and a quite satisfying film (the bad guys get their comeuppance and the good receive their just reward, this is Oz, after all!).  Expect to shed a tear, if your heart's not made of stone, and to gasp and cheer.  It's a keeper.

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

I really enjoyed this one too. Quite charming actually.

Alan said...

I liked it, but then I've always been a fan of the Oz books.

Bruce Friend said...

Saw it in IMAX 3D. Just fantastic!