Eric Brake Staff Writer
So, Oz the Great and Powerful has become the number one movie in the world, eh? But, is it really worth seeing?
The other night I saw Oz. I had to say I enjoyed it thoroughly until the very end, however when I left the theater I started to wonder about some things. My first pondering had to do with the casting of Mila Kunis as the Witch Theodora. Not saying that she didn’t play a fabulous role when she was the gullible, naive, kind hearted Witch of the West, but (spoilers) when she turns into the evil, nasty, wicked Witch of the West I had some strong doubts as to why she might have been cast to play the part. Talking with my mother, whom I saw the movie with, we both agreed that her portrayal of Theodora in the ladder portion of the film was, well, too put it quite bluntly, “That 70’s Show” ish. I thought she was completely out of her element, her voice didn’t make me cringe like a witch’s should, and I felt like she was almost unsure of herself in the role. I feel like she was cast for her pretty face and star power and it fell short towards the end.
Now, James Franco. Is there anything that doesn’t turn to gold when he touches it? Originally, Robert Downey Jr. was supposed to be Oz, but because he’s Robert Downey Jr. and can do whatever the hell he feels like, he backed out of the role. I’m ecstatic about that fact. With Robert Downey Jr. playing the role of Oz I feel like it would come off as a bit cocky, arrogant and a player. However, with Franco as Oz, innocence and humbleness were underlying tones that seemed to flash here and there even when we saw his character go through his “selfish” stage. He was one of the brightest spots in the film and I believe that without him this film would have been far less of a success.
Now, to point out one thing that I had a misconception of before I viewed the movie; I thought that it would be like a Tim Burton type of film, kind of dark and a little twisted (think Alice in Wonderland), but it was much more light hearted than that. There are some dark elements to it, yes, but director Sam Raimi did an excellent job committing to a more innocent, fairytale feeling in the movie.
Go see this movie. It is on par, if not better than Alice in Wonderland.
*One thing to note, I hope you all catch the Evil Dead reference added towards the end of the film by Raimi. I, for one, loved it.
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