Thursday, November 15, 2007

Madame Morrible

1 comments

Wikipedia:
Madame Morrible is the headmistress of Elphaba and Galinda's college (Crage Hall) in Shiz. She is suspected by Elphaba and her friends to be responsible for the murder of Dr. Dillamond. At one point, she proposes that Elphaba, Galinda, and Nessarose become future behind-the-scenes rulers in Oz, a proposal which they never willingly follow. Elphaba suspects that Madame Morrible has at least some magical powers and may have indeed controlled the fates of the three women. It is possible that she spies on Elphaba and sends messages to Liir through the Carp in the well at Elphaba's home in the Vinkus; the Carp dies at about the same time as Morrible. Morrible dies of natural causes minutes before Elphaba attempts to murder her.

Me:
This role is HUGE! She is the second biggest villain in the book, but she has the most air-time. I picture either an exceedingly proper woman, like Judi Dench can play, or a comically bumbling (yet somehow effective) leader. The first role may fit better with the tone, especially if she puts on a very false air of joviality. Perhaps a character like Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter 5. Total witch, but has pictures of kitties and a laugh like a seven-year old. However she is cast, this woman is evil. She is totally bent on making the wizard Numero Uno, and on keeping his totalitarian regime in tact. She should laugh as she dies, seeing Elphaba coming to kill her, knowing that she will be dead before the witch gets to her. I want her to be powerful, but no one really realize it until it is too late. I want her prediction/request to come true, just in a slightly different way.

The three witches should have their titles/positions because of the influence of Morrible. Glinda will follow most closely, and will rise through the ranks of society using her magic and social talents in the North. Nessa, although requested to be in the South, ends up in the East where Elphaba was requested. Nessa becomes exactly what Morrible wants of her, the Bitch of the East and keeps the Munchkinlanders in line until her death. Elphaba's resistance of Morrible's magic helps her escape to the West with the Winkies. She hides there for some time, but eventually comes back because of Morrible. Really, the only thing that keeps her prediction from working is the arrival of the tornado, and the house that kills Nessa. Morrible will do much to alter the history of Oz, but she will be behind the scenes, rather than the head like the Wizard.

Melena

0 comments

Wikipedia:
Melena is Elphaba, Nessarose, and Shell's mother, and comes from a high class family. She has mostly pagan traditions, which contradicts Frex's statements. She has very loose morals, and dreams of her days as a pampered girl, despite her rebelling against it at the time. She has a taste for alcohol and pinlobble leaves.

Me:
I think that it is VERY important to remember just how high-class she was. Her fall from grace should be so distinct and visible that the audience should feel embarrassed for young Elphaba that she should have such a ridiculous mother (even before she could talk or realize her situation). I picture her FAT, but not obese, just simply round, large chested, obviously once beautiful, but no longer. There should be something about her that references who she used to be. Maybe a hat, piece of jewelry, pair of shoes, or something that she has on or does, that is so different from the rest of her that we notice and realize she is still holding on to that old life. Maybe Frex mentions it, askingg her why she keeps that silly thing. Maybe a comb. I think that would be wonderful! A beautiful jeweled comb from her mother. She could comb her gnarled, dirty, split-end hair... staring at herself in the mirror, drunk and high. Finally, one day after Nessa is born (maybe before, but the timing is important) she will break the comb on a tangle. Stare at it. Place it down. Pick up a simple wooden comb and continue brushing, unblinking.

I like that scene!!!!

Nanny

1 comments

Wikipedia:
Nanny is a member of the Thropp family, though whether by blood or employment is never explicitly revealed. By the conclusion of the book, she has raised three generations of the Thropps, most notably having acted as chaperon to Nessarose, Elphaba and Glinda during their years at Shiz. She is still vital well into her eighties. Her attitude reflects this, as she is stoic, speaks her mind, and holds to somewhat inflammatory 'Lurlinistic' pagan beliefs.

Me:
She is such an interesting character. She is constantly complaining, yet keeps on working. Her strong will, which is so prevalent in the beginning, seems, later, to be subdued, if not controlled by Nessa. Nanny allows this because she feels bad for Nessa, and eventually just gives in completely. I think this should be a testament to the strong will of Nessa or at least her ability to get others to do what she wants. Nanny, who nearly ran their mother's life, was almost a slave to Nessa. Her role is not huge, and so I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to use her attitude and personality to make a point. She should be overly loud and obnoxious to begin with, and then overly subdued to Nessa towards the end of her part.

Nessarose

2 comments

Wikipedia:
Nessarose is Elphaba's sister. She eventually inherits the position of Eminent Thropp, leader of the state of Munchkinland. Through this position, she coerces Munchkinland into seceding from Oz. As a political leader of Munchkinland, she has both supporters and detractors. Her unhappy subjects nickname her "the Wicked Witch of the East." Nessarose is also the apple of her father Frexspar's (Frex) eye, and his most favored child out of three. She was born without arms, possibly as a result of her mother's attempts to prevent another green child, and the multi-hued glass shoes are charmed by Glinda to help her to become more independent.

Me:
She is horribly neglected in this story, both versions in my opinion. Nessa plays such a LARGE role in pushing Elphaba over the edge into near-insanity, both intentionally and unintentionally. Elphaba's obsession over gaining her father's love, and inability to do so, are what make her do the things she does in the end and live up to the title of Wicked. Nessa was her sister who her father actually DID love. Elphaba had to have a love-hate relationship with her from the beginning. I feel Nessa's attitude towards her sister, and the fact that she was 'wicked' long before Elphie, merit her more than the part she was given in either story. Nessarose needs to be as well-developed of a character as both her sister and Glinda, and Nessa's rise to power to be what pushes Elphaba and Glinda towards their positions in the West and North. I like her not having arms better than being in a wheel-chair. This can be accomplished on film much more effectively than on stage. I feel it adds to her character that, despite being born with a disfiguring defect (one that most would consider unattractive), she was horribly vain and effected such an air of grace and self-importance that her fall into evil should feel more inevitable than a shock or change of character. The ability to move, granted her by the magic in the shoes from Glinda, and her position of power as the Imminent Thropp are what allow her true character to come out, and Elphaba's prediction of her being called the 'Bitch of the East' coming to fruition. This is neglected, and I want more of it.

The Wizard

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Wikipedia:
The Wizard is the dictator of Oz and primary villain of the story. He originally came to Oz from Earth in a hot air balloon seeking the Grimmerie, but became sidetracked when he discovered he could orchestrate a coup in Oz. It is heavily implied that he fathered Elphaba while her mother was under the influence of the Magical Elixir, which may explain Elphaba's green skin, aversion to water, and ability to occasionally read parts of the Grimmerie, which originated in the Wizard's world. After Elphaba's death and Dorothy's return to the Emerald City, the Wizard hastily leaves Oz for America in another (or the same) hot air balloon, and plans his suicide. After taking the Magical Elixir herself, Elphaba sees visions of the future, in which the Wizard fails to drown himself in the ocean. This is consistent with Baum's books, in which the Wizard later returns to Oz, alive. She also sees a sign in a shop window that says "Irish need not apply", hinting, that much like Elphaba, The Wizard faced prejudice.

Me:
I like this, but I don't think the fact that he is her father should be revealed until the end. He father should be a mystery, but it would be a great ending to have her father revealed as the wizard, further driving the stake into her heart. I like the ending where he leaves and tries to commit suicide, but fails, however this may draw too much sympathy. The wizard is too beloved a character from the Oz story/movie, and so I like the fact that he is a dictator over Oz in this story. It works for me better to have him escape and try to go back to life in the real world with the same prejudice he forced on the Animals. Divine Justice. His fate is up for grabs, however.

Turtle Heart

0 comments

Wikipedia:
Turtle Heart is a wandering glassblower from Quadling country. He comes upon Melena's home while Frex is out preaching. Melena and Turtle Heart have an extended affair, and it is suggested that Frex may have had intimate relations with him, as well. It is also strongly suggested that he is the father of Nessarose.

Me:
I want to go beyond the book with Turtle Heart. He is such a great character, and he really embodies the dysfunction rampant in Elphaba's family during her childhood. I don't want to just suggest that Turtle Heart is Nessarose's father, but I want to SUGGEST that he is her father. I want to show the affair with Melena AND Frexspar. I want to even go as far as to show that Turtle Heart was the only one who really showed any love towards Elphaba, and then link the glass he gave her to that in the end of the movie. His death needs to be traumatic for the audience; at least enough to explain why both Frex and Melena just shut down after he dies.
I like the parallels I've heard drawn between his death and the way that Nessa later allows Munchkinland to operate with animal and human sacrifices.

This may not be possible because most of the movie will need to be focused on how the three witches interact with each other, and if too much time is spent on Elphaba and Nessa’s childhoods, then there won’t be any time left for that.

Yackle

0 comments

Wikipedia:
Yackle is a mysterious crone who appears frequently in Elphaba's life and who Elphaba suspects may be exerting control over her fate and be Kumbrica, the ambivalent goddess of Ozian myth. She is first mentioned by Nanny as an old gypsy woman from whom she bought the medicine which would stop Melena's second child being born green. Later, she appears as an old woman guarding the door to the Philosophy Club and later still, she appears as Mother Yackle, a maunt (a sort of Ozian nun) at the mauntery (a unionist nunnery) who takes care of the homeless Elphaba. She is also believed to be one of the reincarnation of the Kumbricia Witch who protects Elphaba as she is the second incarnation.

Me:
I feel she should be a very mysterious character, but not a huge role, possibly just an introduced character and then simply a recurring face to make one wonder