‘Oz the Great and Powerful’, which is a prequel to L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, and also an unofficial prequel to the 1939 film ‘The Wizard of Oz’, is about a small-time magician, Oscar Diggs/Wizard of Oz, who arrives in an enchanted land and is expected to save it from the ‘wicked’ witches.
The supposedly ‘great’ and ‘powerful’ turns out to be ordinary and weak. The film begins on a promising note, with charming black and white visuals, witty dialogue writing and a nice setting of the basic premise. However, the film soon finds itself in a quandary, owing to its duration (2 hours 10 minutes).
Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with a dubious reputation, is hurled away in a hot air balloon from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz.
At this enchanted land, he encounters three witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams). As the lone hope of the trouble-struck people of Oz, Oscar, the newly anointed Wizard must find out who is good and who is evil before time runs out.
The film has brilliant visuals. The way the transformation from the black and white visuals of Kansas to the vibrant ‘Land of Oz’ takes place, is highly praiseworthy. The performances are not quite top-notch. At times, the lead actors do end up looking a bit like caricatures. The biggest let-down of the film is the sluggish screenplay. The 3D too, flatters to deceive. Even kids may not find this fare too entertaining.
The film doesn’t live up to its name!