On Mothers Day, my son Adam took me to see Oz The Great and Powerful. Having grown up watching the Wizard of Oz, I was eager to immerse myself in the prequel in which the Wizard takes on the mantel. Some critics have lambasted it, others have waxed poetic. This eternal child still finds delight in yet another of what Joseph Campbell called ‘the hero’s journey.’
As it begins, Oscar Diggs is a conniving, womanizing carnival magician. When he gets caught in flirtation with The Strong Man’s wife, he escapes into the hot air balloon that whisks him skyward, up into a whirlwind and landing not so gently into a rampaging river. There he meets three witches, she of the North, she of the East and she of the West (wonder what happened to the Southern representative?) a talking bellhop costume wearing winged monkey (not one of the Wicked Witch’s minions….”don’t make me call the flying monkeys.”) and a little china girl doll. They become his companions along the Yellow Brick Road; some more welcome than others.
He meets the doll when her village is destroyed by the Wicked Witch of the East and when Oz finds her, she is underneath a broken tea pot, her little legs separated from her body. He just happens to have a bottle of glue in his pocket to reattach them and once he does, the cracks are still visible, but she is able to walk on them and they support her for the balance of the movie.
I won’t give away the rest of the plot in case you haven’t yet seen it, but what I gleaned from it was worth its weight in the gold that was offered to the potential protagonist for killing the Wicked Witch of the West. Even if we seem broken, we can be put back together and even if our cracks are showing, we are still beautiful and can keep on ‘easing on down the road.’ Appearances can be deceiving and what might look shiny and alluring on the outside can hide a dark secret. Small can be mighty. Together, tinker, farmer, and munchkin can save the day. Even the most self serving person can be redeemed, and ‘omnia vincit amor’-love conquers all.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
http://youtu.be/EpzJQoWm6Nk Movie Clip from Oz the Great and Powerful
http://youtu.be/-JIUQ76L0YA Almost Home by Mariah Carey