Sam Raimi’s film, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” failed in fulfilling the expectation I had, especially if I compare it to the beauty that was the 1939 release of “The Wizard of Oz.” James Franco does an adequate job playing our mischievous wizard, but he does so not by acting but by being…let’s face it that look of his does look a little dubious. Michelle Williams plays Glinda, the good little witch, and the two bad witches are played by Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz. Out of all the players here,I thought Rachel dominated, but then again she’s done this type of thing before so I guess I’m admitting that in the ‘acting’ department this flick didn’t astonish.
I already admitted that if you are to compare this film and the masterful film it was suppose to be a prequel to, then it does come short. How so? The first film is magical the way this film pretended to be, but perhaps that was the ruse, the joke. If you are comparing the two and imagine that there’s a man in each movie pulling the strings then who’s the greatest magician? I would have to say it is the man behind “The Wizard of Oz” because he had nothing to work with and yet created a spectacle that made a believer out of me. The man pulling the strings here is the great and powerful Raimi, and he attempted to show us the lie behind the good, the magic around the lie and he most definitely did.
I know this now more than ever, Raimi does have the tools to create magic, but he doesn’t have the power to make me believe it. I was always aware of the trickery of filmmaking, but I couldn’t brew myself into the trick. Wasn’t that the point though? The audience isn’t here to believe in the magic that the Wizard is famous for but the goodness in his heart. Did I believe that? He doesn’t have too much of it but it is there. Also the plot was a little thin but I guess I can forgive that since the subplot was much richer. So the film couldn’t capture the magic it was suppose to, did it do anything right?
It added a lot of layers to “The Wizard of Oz” films because I now know that Glinda (Williams) the good witch of the South is just as conniving as her sisters. Glinda conjured up along with the Wizard the biggest everlasting ruse ever pulled upon all the people of Oz including the bad witches. Of course it added something else, the wicked witch later is famed for saying “I’ll get you my pretty,” was herself a beautiful, good witch. Theodora (Kunis) was turned to wickedness due to a broken heart that we could blame on her sister, Evandora (Weisz), but it was only possible because of the Wizard. The Wizard is well aware of his hand in turning Theodora the good witch to wickedness but doesn’t seem to do too much about it. What is worse to me is that I know the fate of Theodora and that it was indirectly ordered upon her by the Wizard. Am I over thinking it a little? Maybe, but it’s how I get my Phix even if it wanted a stronger hit. Oh and as a side note…where were the ruby slippers?