Movies are usually not my type of reviews, at least not on this blog, but somehow, these thoughts had plagued my minds just for far too long. I think most of us know this movie, which is allegedly based on a classical American literature of children’s novel, which actual name is The Wizard of Oz.
I will try to keep the summary as short as possible, because really, I do not want to waste too much words on something that would just irritate me or would just end up on being a waste of time on my part on sometimes that is not worth it.
Anyway, the story is typically about an impostor, wannabe magician – played by
James Franco – who acts tough and oh so charming, but in fact is a mere cheating con, of whom one should beware of, especially women, because well let’s say he would cut out more than just your money.
He is the kind of typical male portrayed nowadays, far often than one, especially me would have like it, I guess. He is arrogant, conceitedly selfish and an apparently a celebrated hero from a legendary prophecy – please take note that my voice is dripping with sarcasm –
When he lands in Oz, after escaping some ridiculous self-induced events or rather a promise of dangerous violence inflicted on his person. Everyone just believes him to be the wizard that is going to rescue all of them from, yeah the Wicked Witch, which no one actually knows of who it really is, since there are apparently three witches in Oz, the Wicked Witch of the East, one for the West and the Good Witch of the South. The first one that our dear heroic wizard meets is the Witch of the West.
In the movie she, Theodora, is portrayed by Mila Kunis, so yeah, she is a beautiful woman, clad in red, the first thing the wizard lays his eyes one and the first one to fall for his ‘charming’ ways. She believes to find the wizard in him who was prophesied to kill the Wicked Witch, who murdered their last king. That was one of the first sequences, where – especially as a woman – you hear the alarms coming off for the first time in your mind.
Their first day ends with a ‘romantic’ night, with dancing, charming and in my mind I can see the camera moving towards the night sky (not sure if it’s true) and we all can guess what had happened. In the next scene/day, you will learn that things are apparently a ‘little’ bit different from our expectations. Because she now expects him to marry her and make her his Queen, when he becomes the King – it’s a prophecy thing. (plus she is pretty naive)
Okay, I claimed that I will make this short. He meets her sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz), who is obviously the true evil witch in this story – has anyone looked at the way she was dressed? – shows the promise of gold and money to the wizard, knowing that he is actually a fraud. But all she wants him to do is to kill the ‘Wicked Witch’ of the South, Glinda (Michelle Williams). The truth comes out and as the movie makers wanted it, the actually good witch has the same face as his childhood and probably true love – not sure, if it was obvious, but just to note, this really deserves the eye roll -.
And like many of us already guessed with the first scene, he breaks poor Theodora’s heart. Okay, it was more of a scheme that her sister created to make her believe it. Either way, she ends up with a broken heart and out of despair, she eats up an apple which apparently shall erase all her heartache. It seems that the apple had some side effects, aside from erasing sweet naive Theodora’s personality, turning her into an inhuman monster with a thirst for revenge, she now looks as inhuman as she is probably as a personality, with her green skin, typical witch nose and what not.
From there on, the story is the typical run-of-the-mine, if you want to put it that way. After some big resistance, the guy undergoes an epic epiphany, becomes the ‘wizard’ everyone expects him to be and succeeds in overthrowing the now two Wicked Witches. Now, I will tell you what my problem was with the movie or problems, because there might be more than just one.
Let’s begin with my first thought when the last curtain fell.
Seriously, what is the message of the movie?! It’s okay to be a fraud, it’s okay to cheat and lie and steal your way through life, pretend something you are not and hop your way through life, leaving a trail of broken hearts, but hey, you can still be great and a good guy, because there is a ‘wizard’ in each of you? In this case, the ‘wizard’ shows us that they do not have to be a real wizard, you just have to cheat yourself through that and all is well!
Okay, I can understand what kind of pseudo message the movie wants to deliver. They just want to show that anyone can be great and you don’t really need to be born to be this way, you just have to use your brain, be smart and witty and you can be successful. Fine, that way is fine, as lacking of every other moral and virtue as it is, it’s fine!
But what I cannot agree nor accept is the fact the way that is portrayed. I find that character disgusting. Lying, cheating, deceiving and whatever else he brings up to the day of light that I find despicable. Maybe my views would have changed, if they had done the move a little bit differently. Sure, he underwent some changes, when he became less selfish and started to actually care for other people and according to the movie and weird bubble wall, he had always had a good heart, he just needed to find himself. Yet is it again the message they deliver that irks me the most.He had never revealed the truth, like the fact that he is not a real wizard, neither had he ever apologized for misleading that poor naive folk.
Some people may believe that I am overreacting, but I cannot help but find this to be actually important. Because, as cliché as it sounds, the hero must be truthful and honest, especially when he has gone through what was supposed to be some epic and life-changing transition. I had even expected him to do exactly that when he held his speech, but like always, I was waiting in vain.
Even towards the end, it was never made clear whether people were aware of the truth, it was hinted, it was obvious for everyone, who watched the movie, but what about those little naive people in the movie? I would even give their naivety enough credit to buy that lie as a truth. So, what was it now? Are people now trying to say that the whole myth of the Wizard of Oz was based on a whole
bunch mountain of lie? – I wonder whether I even wanna know… –
That was not the only thing left in question. At the end, I could not help but wonder whether he would truly return home, like he had first planned to when he arrived. The answer was quite obvious at first, of course he was, but suddenly all I saw him do was make out with the Good Witch and suddenly it appeared as though he would stay. If he stayed, what would happen to his childhood sweetheart? Does he forsake her for her lookalike?
Again, this became quite questionable for me. Did he fall in love with Glinda due to her likeness to his childhood girlfriend (or whatever she might have been to him, when it comes to that guy, one can never be that sure) or really for her personality? What does it even say about her, if he just forsake her, whose name I forgot, for someone who just look like her? How would that make me feel? What does it even say about him. (Not that he was ever put in a good complexion in the movie, at least according to me)
Now, to the greatest problem in this movie. Perhaps it was already quite obvious in my summed up version of the movie. The film made Theodora and her evil sister Evanora as the main villainess, clearly seen in the ending scene, in which Theodora was driven away from the Emerald City, with its whole population celebrating their defeat. The worst thing that made my heart ache was the moment, where James Franco’s pretty face turning towards her flying figure on broom – talking about cliches huh? – and the only thing he said that if she ever redeemed herself, there would always be a place for her…
I did not like it. I hated it.
I hated the way it sounded as though she was the one, who was wrong!
I do not deny that she was the ‘villain’ towards the end, neither am I trying to reason that Glinda’s torture was in any way okay, but what I cannot stand for is the fact that they are portraying her as the only one, who was at fault.
Thinking back, he was the root for all the evil inside her. So what is that little scheme of her sister had triggered her ‘turn’. It does not matter, just as it does not matter that he had not ‘actually’ cheated on her with Glinda, like her sister had wanted to her believe. Let’s be frank, he would have broken her heart either way, her sister – unluckily – just turned out to be the early bird and break it to her in the hardest way.
Do not misunderstand, I am in no way trying to condone her actions. They were indeed wrong, there could have been another way to handle this, a greater way to be the greater person. But hey, that’s love, it makes you blind and when it breaks, you are even more blinded. What I am trying to say is, that it is true that her actions were wrong, that she may have been evil, considering her actions, but she was not the only one at fault.
I can even understand that people chased her away, she was evil and a danger and they hated here. So there was no other choice, that I can understand as well. It is rather the way that she left that I cannot understand or rather, cannot accept.
That moment, when he turned around, facing her; those two, who once shared an attraction – even love from her part – towards each other, it should have been a sad scene, reminiscing and maybe even apologizing. The latter is what I have missed. He had not even apologized to her…
At this point, I am done with any accusation. I am rather resigned to this…. thing. It is just sad to witness that scene and for any woman, or any person with the right mind, it was enough to make you wince. All of this, the celebration of someone, who is nothing but a fraud, pseudo messages about how to be great and now that.
Seriously, this is not a movie I would like to show little boys.
“Yes, it’s true, you can toy around with girl’s heart and even break them, especially if you found the right one and you do not actually care about the other one. Apologize? What? No, there is no need for that!”
As horrible as it sounds, this was what I saw from the movie.
But despite all these shady questionable pseudo messages on morality that makes my head
shake? hang in shame, there were still a few enjoyable things. For example I like the allusion towards his real life, like the little girl in a wheelchair and the china doll girl and granting her wishes, his ‘best friend’ from home and the flying ape. Those were kinda sweet. Of course, the animation was very good as well, it looked beautiful and real, especially in 3D. Still, has anyone noticed that the blond was the good one and the other two witches were… not blond? Another cliché or maybe just a coincidence…
To sum it all up, maybe I am blowing things out of proportions, I don’t know about that, but I just had to let this all out, because I do not condone this message nor the portrayal of woman that is offered by the movie. I hope people can understand this.