A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
And, just like that, we are off to see the wizard - the wonderful Wizard of Oz! Now, I know what most of you are probably thinking right about now: “Oh, great, he’s about into some trite little tangent about how, if you mute the 1939 film adaptation and play the album Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd right when the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion lets out his second roar, you will attain enlightenment, or something like that. I don’t know man...hippies, am I right?.”
No. You are not right. Well, you are right about the fact that the album and the movie line up so perfectly to create such a profound masterpiece of psychedelia that it is hard to believe Victor Fleming and Roger Waters weren’t sitting together in the same production studio during the making of each project. Alas, such a feat would have required quite a bit of time travel - a concept that had not been thrust into the forefront of popular culture until over a decade after the release of Dark Side Of The Moon, when Robert Zemeckis put out his iconic Back To The Future trilogy.
You are incorrect, however, in assuming that this is what I planned to spend the majority of this review discussing. What I will discuss, instead, is how this story is connected to another cultural touchstone of the left-handed, hand-rolled cigarette connoisseur: The Big Lebowski.
What in God’s holy name am I blathering about, you may be asking?
I’ll tell you what I’m blathering about, man - I’ve got information!
A carefree, happy-go-lucky protagonist (Dorothy/The Dude) has his/her world changed upon the occurrence a gravely unfortunate event (a tornado/a rug being peed on), forcing them to abandon their cavalier lifestyle and embark on a meandering, befuddling voyage through a carnivalesque mad world run by witches (wicked ones and ones with mid-Atlantic accents) and absurd enforcers of chaos (flying monkeys/nihilists). Among our hero’s closest companions are a man with no heart (The Tin Woodman/Walter) and a man with no brain (The Scarecrow/Donnie).
Eventually, our protagonist realizes that the person who they have been told has all of the answers, has everything all figured out, is running the whole show, and can solve our hero’s problems is nothing but a giant fraud, a phony, a goldbricker (The Wonderful “Wizard”/The “Big” Lebowski) and our hero is left with no desire except to simply return back home and, well, abide.
I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that.