Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Wizard of Oz and the mystifying effect of Technicolor ~ by: Uel Ceballos

A timeless classical, The Wizard of Oz is the kind of movie that you wouldn’t get tired of watching even for several of times. Based from L. Frank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this musical adaptation produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has really captured my heart with its profound moral lessons, magical music and amusing make-ups and special effects, which appeared to define the most intricate cosmetics and technical effects by then. The film was apparently a high budgeted movie with its usage of Technicolor process that was very costly for a film production by that time. But it all worth it because the film was such a great hit of success (though it didn’t make to be a box office hit on its first release)  that even for today, people do still remember the effects it had to everyone who had come to watch it. 

The story is centered to a young sweet farm girl named Dorothy Gale who was carried by a cyclone to the mystical world of Oz while she was inside her house. The house had dropped on the Wicked Witch of The East in the Munchkin Land, and killed the witch accidentally. The witch has a sister, the Wicked Witch of The West who swore to revenge her sister’s death. The rest of the events that followed had led Dorothy to her journey along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City where she could find the Wizard of Oz to help her get back home.

The film had never taken off the smile from my lips all throughout the time that I was watching it. First is mainly of the reason that I was greatly amazed by the garish and extravagantly world of Oz that was achieved through the Technicolor process. Of course, we are now living in the generation where the film’s special effects are far way better than the old times but seeing the classical The Wizard of Oz in such a fantastic visual eminence was really awesome and thinking that ways and process are much complicated and full of effort exertion by then. I couldn’t help but think how painstaking the whole process had been by that time just to give the movie a good quality output. While watching the movie I was really enthralled by the vividness of the picture, thinking on how many lights were being used just to project that bright and colorful illustration effect of the magical Oz, which in turn surely bore sacrifices on the actors and actresses who had to endure the lights’ heat and squinting effects while they were covered in heavy costumes and cosmetics.

photo clips from the movie
Dorothy Gale met along the way the three friends who would accompany her on her journey to Emerald City – the Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion. This is another demonstration of the film’s excellence in portrayals of the unusual characters in their effective costumes and make-ups that looked so authentic you would really think the Scarecrow and the Tin Man were really Scarecrow and Tin Man in real life. Credits couldn’t be denied as well to the admirable actors who delivered to us an unforgettable performance. I love the trio here as they added colors to Dorothy’s adventure, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion had decided to go with the girl to also wish something from the Great Wizard. This would impart important lessons to the audience as the team finally reached the Emerald City and named to the Wizard what they would want to have.

The film was as rich and substantial as the book where it was adapted. The songs and dances interwoven with the film storytelling approach were meticulously executed that it did really uplift my mood and give me a happy chill. The choreography was so entertaining especially those dances in the Munchkin land in the earlier part of the movie and that first encounter that Dorothy and The Scarecrow had. The music and lyrics were deeply penetrating that it effortlessly exude the happiness and astonishment from me– I just couldn’t describe it exactly, but that somehow was the closer definition I can get with regards to the music’s overall effects on me. I came to watch The Wizard of Oz at the age of 25 but to tell you honestly, I felt like 16 years again for almost 3 hours that I was watching the film.

The Wizard of Oz is the sort of film that you would embrace with a happy and blissful heart regardless of your age, gender or current status in life. The movie was just as powerfully magical as the book itself that its mystique features are quite hard to resist.

Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale
I’m not that familiar of the celebrated actresses by that time, but Judy Garland’s casting as Dorothy Gale apparently became one of the most appropriate decisions that MGM had made for the film production. Her sweet face and wonder-filled eyes had made up so much for the perfect depiction of Dorothy Gale’s character.

This film is certainly a potential classic piece that would survive for far more years from now. This is one of my best favorite musical films that I wouldn’t mind watching over and over again. For this film that never fails to make me feel so young at heart, I will give it a perfect rate of 10 ESPRESSO SHOTS! Cheers!