Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review - Oz The Great And Powerful (2013)

Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams.
Directed by Sam Raimi.

After 74 years, the prequel story to the classical Wizard of Oz is finally here and after watching, I wish it hadn't arrived. We get to learn the origins of the wizard Oscar Diggs (played by James Franco) and also some history of the land of Oz. The movie follows Oscar, a small-time magician who gets sucked from his home in Kansas by a tornado and flung into the magical world of Oz. He meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), Glinda (Michelle Williams) and other friends along the way. Oscar is prophesied to overthrow the Wicked Witch who killed the king of Oz and embarks on his quest to do so.

The movie opens up in black and white imagery in which we learn about Oscar's life before Oz. I found this imagery quite fitting because of the period in which the movie is placed in (seemed early 1900s). It then transitions into color imagery when Oscar arrives at Oz, a quite colorful and charming place. Here on out, we witness Oz The Great and Powerful's strongest attribute - its visuals. Some scenes I thought looked really good, for example, the bubbles scene and Oscar's climatic magician act in the end. Though the film boasts some good visuals, it failed to encaptivate me and draw me into its fantasy world. For a movie which featured witches, magicians, flying and talking monkeys, fairies and dolls; Oz The Great and Powerful didn't feel magical at all.

Director Sam Raimi failed to create a fantasical atmosphere which is what usually draws me into these fantasy films. The musical score didn't do much for me, neither did the set pieces nor the casting. The casting of this film was the absolute worst, as in, everyone sucked. Michelle Williams's character was perhaps the least cringing character but all in all, she still sucked as Glinda the Good Witch. Mila Kunis's character was the absolute worst. She portrays this desperate, man hungry witch whose heart got broken after a few hours and decides to become evil. Mila Kunis did not convince anyone with her constant dumb shrieking and over-acting. James Franco failed as lead, I couldn't take him serious at any point in this movie, same with Rachel Weisz's character. The rest of the cast which included the Tinkers, Munchkins etc were just as boring and useless.

The cast's bad acting coupled with the movie's weak and flat dialogue made this a miserable experience. What's even worse is that the movie also tried to be funny. It was not funny. Tony Cox you are not funny. I thought Finley (played by Zach Braff) was cute but even he got annoying as the movie went along - not to mention that China Doll. Nothing flowed smoothly in Oz The Great and Powerful. The characters were just going through the motions and from start to finish everything just seemed implausible.

Even though Oz the Great and Powerful may have looked magical, it did not feel magical at all. I hope in the upcoming sequel, the entire casting and crew is revamped.

Rating: 3.5/10

Movies Also Watched:

My Brother the Devil (2013)
This film tries not to be another cliched urban London gang flick but still ends up being that somewhat. Solid performances from the leads and I was quite engaged. - 8/10

Spellbound (1945)
Twisty, interesting, creepy and well-written. - 10/10

Event Horizon (1997)
Transitioned from being very creepy to somewhat silly towards the end. Watchable sci-fi horror. - 6.5/10

Lord of War (2005)
An interesting take on weapons dealing with a convincing Nicolas Cage as lead. - 8.5/10

Coal Miners Daughter (1980)
A solid biopic of the life of country singer Loretta Lynn. Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones were great. - 8.5/10

Wild At Heart (1990)
David Lynch sure knows how to turn a simple story into fascinating weirdness. - 7.5/10


  1. A Fan's Cut

    This is my blog on how Great Films Could Have Been Made Differently.

    if you have time then please take a look.

    I'm also looking to collaborate with a screenwriter.

    Comments are welcome

    Sorry for disturbing,thanks.

  2. Solid review Shawna. Oz really isn’t that great and powerful but it’s actually a damn good movie that actually succeeds over Alice in Wonderland in both terms of quality, quantity, and subtlety.

    1. Really? I kinda prefer Alice in Wonderland over this one :)Thanks Dan.