Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

We went to see the new Oz movie.

My son says:

"It was very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very good."

I enjoyed it also.  The sets were fascinating and the characters interesting. It did have some inconsistencies with  The Wizard of Oz and even more with L. Frank Baum's books. Occasionally the film seemed to lack direction and the final message was predictable. But it was fun. Well worth seeing.

There were some theological allusions, too, that I found intriguing.

***Spoiler Alert***

One witch becomes evil after eating an apple and then is able to "see clearly." She was deceived into believing that eating it would be a good thing -- would protect her from hurt. Only after eating it could she see that the one who gave it to her was wicked.  It's a vague reminder of Eden when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their eyes were immediately opened and they knew they were naked. The began to know shame. They are banished from God's presence.

In the end this witch is given an escape route -- told that if she ever finds the good within her she is welcome to return to Oz. She vows never to accept that offer.  This reminds me of Jesus. He provides us with the way to Heaven -- offers a way out of a life apart from God. We have the choice to accept or reject it.

In our culture there are many religious references floating around and sometimes, as part of our common culture, they find their way into books and movies "coincidentally." Other times people are intentional. Actually, C.S. Lewis said that he often was not intentional but the story of redemption was so deeply ingrained in him that it came out in his fiction. That could be the case here.

I am curious about whether the film's makers were intentional about the allusions. In the end, though, it's a good movie either way.

Have you seen a movie lately?
Would you recommend it? 
Did you notice any religious or cultural references?


  1. I could be remembering incorrectly, and I'm not exactly an expert on Christian theory, but I thought I read somewhere that the original Oz series were filled with Christian allegory. So perhaps, even when it split from the book, the screenwriters still deliberately added the imagery?

    I'm glad everyone is saying it's a good movie! I can't wait to see it.

    1. I hadn't heard that but I will check it out. I think you will love the movie.

  2. I didn't even know this movie was out Melinda, but I'm intrigued to see what you mention here...Interesting observations! Thank you for sharing this! :)

  3. I haven't seen it yet, but will now make a point. I will have to look for the imagery. - Jodi