Monday, October 31, 2011

Still Film: Return to Oz, Part 4 (The End).

After Dorothy lands in this new strange, rocky place we come to discover that the crooked little faces that have been appearing on rocks and spying on Dorothy the whole way through Oz are actually connect to this Rock King figure who fancies himself the all powerful guardian of Oz.  Unsure of what to expect, Dorothy is nervous and scared and just wants to save her friends and get the hell out of there.   The Rock guy seems to pity her a bit and serves her friends steaming tea and cakes to soothe their stomach aches.  It is very engrossing to see the rocks shape shift into personified beings-- as a child I remember it being absolutely mesmerizing to watch this scene.   

The strange Rock Guy is in cahoots with the Queen so Dorothy has a way to go before reaching her freedom.  We see her reintroduced to the ruby slippers that she first made popular in the original Oz, and its interesting to see how they work them into this movie.  The slippers are particularly stunning in this gray rock cavern, and just seem to hypnotize in their ruby sparkling splendor.   In this end scene where Dorothy breaks free from the Rock Caverns, it seems to be Hell incarnate as flames burst and strange rock structures crumble to bits.   Take note of the particularly shocking still of when the Rock King gets out of control and actually drops the helpless lad Jack Pumpkin head into his massive steaming mouth. 

In all the chaos of that night, Dorothy and her friends manage to escape with the Ruby reds in tow, and when she places them on her feet, Oz is restored to its former glory.  Old friends like the Cowardly Lion and Tinman reanimate, and the statues the Wheelers once tormented are now Oz residents set free from their statue poses.   Dorothy finds herself in a new location, at night, in an empty field.  

For her heroic efforts, Dorothy is rewarded in a palace ceremony that seems inspired by Christmas and Cinco de Mayo in its Green, Red, white and gold ornate color scheme.  The old witchy Queen is caged and Dorothy is awarded by the haunting blonde princess that seduced her to Oz in the first place-- this girl, it turns out, is the true princess of Oz that wanted to get Dorothy back to save them.  In the end, Dorothy is wised away back to Kansas and the stark bright white light of that Kansas day is quite sobering.  It appears that it may have been all in her mind after she escaped in fear from her room during the storm and collapsed under some trees until it passed, waking the next day.  Eventually she finds herself back on her victorian farm where life carries on as per usual.  The final scene of Dorothy awaking, dazed on the ground near her farm after this wonderland adventure is quite reminiscent of one of the most famous American paintings of the 20th century, Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth.

Happy Halloween!

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