Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review: Oz The Great and Wonderful

I didn't feel up to much today, but we ended up going to 1 Utama to catch a movie at GSC and celebrate my son's birthday. The movie my hubby booked online at 2 a.m. last night, because he couldn't sleep (and thought it'd be right up my alley), was Oz The Great and Wonderful.

I hadn't even heard about the movie, so I was pleasantly surprised. Indeed I love the tale of the Wizard of Oz and I did enjoy the 1939 original with Judy Garland as Dorothy. That classic, regarded by many as one of the most important movies ever made, is so beloved that I think Sam Raimi is pretty darn brave to be attempting a movie featuring the Emerald City...............

Sorry, but Michael Jackson dressed as a scarecrow keeps flashing before my mind's eye..... eeeek! And oh, by the way, don't worry about spoilers, I won't reveal crucial parts of the movie here :)

So, okay, back to 2013. The movie is actually a prequel to the Wizard of Oz tale. It shows us how a struggling illusionist named Oscar (James Franco) found his way to the magical Land of Oz, only to become its "great and powerful" wizard.  

From the get go, we get the picture that Oscar isn't exactly a likable character. James Franco plays up this dubious con man quite well. He treats his only friend/assistant Frank (Zach Braff) like trash, and he's a self-centred, lying and womanising creep. After a while, you begin to wonder why anyone would have faith in him at all. But others' faith in him, is exactly what the story hinges upon.

But, enough about him. Let's talk about the women in the movie. Mila Kunis (Theodora), Rachel Weisz (Evanora) and Michelle Williams (Glinda) are positively radiant. In fact, I never truly realised just how beautiful the latter is. I thought they played their characters very well, and though this is a movie with witches, munchkins and flying monkeys, you get a true sense of the story and the people and "creatures" in it. 

To me, the movie doesn't come across as being so "out there"... like say Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Alice in Wonderland, but that's a good thing. Being a Disney movie, it also manages to keep a bit of that air of innocence that people love so much in the 1939 classic. 

My son loved it, I loved it and I think my husband liked it, though it's not his usual cup of tea. I say go watch it and have fun. Kids (of all ages) will enjoy it tremendously! 

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