Plot : Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking-that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting.
Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well. When small-time magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) pulls one flimflam too many, he finds himself hurled into the fantastical Land of Oz where he must somehow transform himself into the great wizard-and just maybe into a better man as well – Walt Disney
What we thought : This prequel to the Wizard of Oz is full of larger than life, fantasy adventure and I loved the opening act where the black and white sequence set in Kansas, pays tribute to The Wizard of Oz of 1939.
The film starts with a travelling circus and introduces us to Oscar “Oz” Diggs (James Franco), an illusionist, huckster and womaniser who is whisked away to the magical land of Oz. Once he gets there, he is mistaken for the ONE who would come – a prophecy already said that ONE would fall from the sky, and he would be a wizard who would save Oz from the tyranny of the Wicked Witch. Oz then falsely assumes the role of it, only to find it brings him more trouble than he bargained for.
The other actors, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams – who play the three witches Evanora, Theodora and Glinda (respectfully) all vying for power in Oz, played their rolls with great gusto and conviction too. I liked the fact that each one brought something different to the film and made it work. They were the witch-trinity, not to be reckoned with I suppose!
The highlight of the movie were the trusty sidekicks – a flying monkey excellently voiced by Scrubs star Zack Braff, and the other a darling little China Girl voiced by Joey King. These two really stole the show. There were many humorous scenes where they take the mickey out of each other, and also some touching scenes were tears a shed.
In my opinion Raimi succeeded in creating an entertaining movie and I loved the IMAX 3D effects that made the land of Oz a real roller coaster ride. The animation really popped and while this show is by no means a classic, it did bring enough energy, humour and emotion to make it a memorable one.
Cumi: While all actors performed pretty well, I felt Franco had been a miscast for role of Oz. While a decent actor with good looks, Franco doesn’t have that magic to capture the romantic, timid yet cunning opportunist that Raimi had probably envisioned for Oz’s personality.
Although a clever tale serving as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, the script was a bit of a let down, although there was sufficient narrative, twists and humor to keep the audience from sinking into boredom. The fantasy movie did feel a little stretched out in some scenes.
Watch the Official Trailer :