In Part one we discussed how Oz fails at making anything not about it’s protagonist. It’s not just that everything the women do is focused or affected by Oscar though. The worst part for me was the absolute fawning over Oscar’s womanizing.
In the beginning, Oscar decieves three women. The ‘magician’s assistant’ the strongman’s assistant (off screen), and the girl he let get away. He’s shown to be playing with the two assistants, and actually cares for the other girl, enough to let her go.
Because then he shouts, as the Tornado is sucking him in “I can be good! I can change! Just give me a chance!!”
And then he gets to Oz and he seduces Theodora with no intention on following through, first thing.
Great change there, bud.
It somehow manages to get worse. Oscar’s seduction of Theodora was inelegant at best, but ok, sure, maybe she was taken in. I’ll accept it. But it just never lets up on that tangent. Evanora uses his deception as a base to trick Theodora into the apple (I’ll give this to the creators, the little nods to Fairy Tales were nice). Then, when Theodora realizes that she’s been tricked and misled, her sister is the evil one, is the one that was hurting the people she professed in the beginning to care so much for… she decides to hate Oscar some more?
Excuse me, what? Ok, sure I’d still be mad at the misleading bastard, but wouldn’t burning all the love out of you mean you no longer had loyalty to your sister who just fucked you over and turned you into a horrible creature? I mean, shit, this was the part of the movie where even my mother, who doesn’t automatically deconstruct these movies like I do, went “Wait. What just happened?” and I had to admit that I had no idea.
And then to top it all off, at the very end, when Oscar has sent the sisters running, and Evanora is defeated by Glinda, and hooray! Just as Theodora is flying off on her broom, he says, all solemn like “I know this evil wasn’t of your own making…” and is all extending the olive branch of peace. When it was his deception that hurt her, and his running off that set her off, and his duplicity with seducing her and then being all happy with Glinda that made it so easy for Evanora to fuck with her sister. Evanora provided Theodora the apple, but Oscar might as well have hand fed it to her.
And at the end, he has the audacity to say “This evil was not of your own making”?!
What. The. Fuck.
Damn right it wasn’t of her making! It was yours! And there is nothing to indicate he takes responsibility for it. In essence, Oscar pulls the same shit (after promising to change, no less), but instead of learning his lesson, he’s rewarded.
In character, yes, Oscar doesn’t know why exactly Theodora turned. And neither does Glinda. Which is probably why she gives him the traditional Hero’s Journey kiss at the end (fuck my life -.-) instead of telling him to fuck off when he invites her into a back room.
But just like Riddick, we’re not talking about the characters while they are in plot. We are talking about them in a meta fashion – a magnifying glass through the fourth wall. Oscar in the end, is a terrible character not only for what he does, but for what he doesn’t do. Who is he at the end that he wasn’t at the beginning? What growth does he actually demonstrate? Worst of all, what does Oscar’s absolute lack of punishment for his deception of Theodora, thus creating a terrible villain for Oz to deal with later, and indeed, even being rewarded for his vanquishing of the villain he made say?
Nothing good, I hope we can all agree.
Now, you could try to argue this from the point that the movie was actually a warning about warring over a man.
Wait. No, you can’t. Because Oscar won, the day was saved, and the protagonist got the girl and learned that he was stronger than he ever believed.
Why? Because he’s the good guy. Duh.
Did this annoy you as much as it did me? Sorry about all the cursing, but this is seriously skewed, and I figured it could benefit from a little strong language. Part 3 will discuss what we can do with this amazing lack of self awareness in the story.