Wednesday, May 28, 2014

After the Wizard review

After the Wizard, a 2011 independent release telling the story of a young orphaned girl claiming to be Dorothy Gale, is a tough movie to place. It is neither a touching fantasy drama like the poster claims, or an adventure family. Watching it doesn't make it any clearer either.

It really isn't an Oz film. The Tin Woodman and Scarecrow are here along with a brief appearance by the lion and some flying monkeys and Toto, but otherwise it's really the story of Elizabeth and two adults who try to understand her. Not much happens, not much is explained, and not much is given for the reason behind this film. The idea of what happens after Dorothy's original adventures has been explored a few times already, so maybe that's why the filmmakers decided to try and tell something new.

If it was attempting to tell the story of a girl using fantasy as a way to deal with problems, it should have focused on exploring that idea, rather than having Elizabeth shout that's she's really Dorothy Gale and then try to run straight into a tornado. The movie feels suffocating, never really letter any characters develop, or action take place far beyond the depressing walls of the orphanage in Kansas.

I will say the costumes of the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow were done in an interesting fashion, a kind of steam punk version that's popular for Halloween costumes these days.

After the Wizard claims to be too much and then doesn't do much to try and prove it. Indie movie fans may find something reputable, but Oz fans need not waste the time.

Grade: C

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