Claiming top spot at the local box office, Oz the Great and Powerful enthralls the audience with spectacular special effects and costumes. Although the 130-minute visual feast could have been a real treat in 3D, Oz, is hardly that great and powerful. Plateauing mainly on a “good” level, Oz never really reaches a climatic point.
Sam Raimi made a huge splash with the prequel of The Wizard of Oz. The director of the Spider-man trilogy brought darker elements into Oz and explored the characters more in-depth than its predecessors.
The use of eye-popping and vibrant colour landscape served as a gateway for viewers into the fantasy realm of Oz. The brilliant imagery concocted by Raimi seemed almost 3D, with the ‘in-your-face’ effects, breathing new life into a much beloved classical tale. The transition from black and white scenes into colour, to signify Oscar’s travel from old Kansas to the Land of Oz, was seamless and brilliant.
However, that is where the greatness and power of Oz stops. The more pressing issue here is the contest of the witches. How bad a witch can one be? Sure, you can be the Wicked Witch, but how about a dreary witch?
Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams collide in more ways than one. They undertook the iconic roles of Theodora, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch respectively. It was almost painful to watch their less-than-stellar performances, given their outstanding track record. Williams, an Oscar Award nominee, was a too sweet and sugary and monotonous Glinda, and Kunis, just falls short as the traditionally fear-inducing Evil Witch. The Black Swan breakout star’s performance was verging on the edge of a comical performance. It was as if Kunis and Williams were competing for the Worst Witch award.
Rachel Weisz gave a impressive performance as Evanora, the older, manipulative sister of Theodora. She makes you believe that she is the Good one but, in fact, is orchestrating the evil plan to bring Glinda down.
Helming the film, James Franco plays the title character, Oscar, and is the saving grace of the otherwise lackluster cast. Franco’s charm and wit compliments his con artist character very well, allowing him to pull off a highly believable performance. The fast-rising star in Hollywood cements his status as a leading man in the ever-changing industry.
Perhaps, if the title of the film was not as self-assuming as the great and powerful, the disappointments would not have been that great. Nonetheless, it is still a must-watch movie!
The sequel to Oz, the Great and Powerful has already been confirmed, with the main cast signing on. I’m already buzzing with excitement.
If you haven had a chance to catch Oz, here’s the official trailer: