Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wacky

The play that we are watching is very different from the original Candide. While it's not necessarily a good or bad thing, I noticed some things that I would like to share:

1)  The play emphasizes the comedy in the story, and the more depressing elements (war, murder, torture, rape, etc.) are largely presented in a comical way and with all the dark aspects removed. The many downfalls of all the characters are also depicted as sorrowful rather than miserable.

2) Many of the characters are very different from Voltaire's characters (and certainly not what I expected). The Old Woman, for example, is not so old here and seduces many men along the heroes' journey. She is also very healthy and does not catch the plague.

3) The play doesn't seem to include Voltaire's bitter attacks on his contemporaries.

4) Since the play only has two hours to present the story, a lot of the transitional events (for example, the main characters' travels) are omitted or very quickly narrated.

What do you think?

7 comments:

Madison Cummings said...

While I did find the play amusing, I didn't really like how immature most of the characters where portrayed, specifically Candide. I understand that Candide was young, but I took that to mean in his late teens, early 20s. The play portrayed him to have the maturity of a toddler. I also did not perceive any of the characters as that ignorant. I understand that Candide's blind optimism may have caused him to come across as ignorant at certain times, but not like the way it was in the play. For example, Candide intentionally kills all three men in novella, but in the play they make these murders appear as "accidents". While in the novella I could at least feel sympathy for Candide, as he was put into situations that forced him to commit murder, the play negated the responsibility, which was the only thing that seemingly gave Candide's character depth. While I found the play funny, I enjoyed the characters as they where portrayed in the book more.

master123 said...

I wish that I was able to see the middle part of the play. When I got back to school Jack told me that the play left out Jacques, our great anabaptist, and I think Martin was left out as well. Of corse the book is always better, but to leave out these great characters is heart breaking. The play needs a foil character to Dr. Pangloss, because frankly he needs to be shut down sometimes. Jacques shows the reader a little glimmer of hope in humanity in Candide's travels. It was just really disappointing to hear that these characters where missing.

Abbey said...

Ha, you're definitely right when you said the movie was wacky (@Jack). I was so upset Martin and Cacambo weren't in the movie! I really liked those two characters. Paquette seemed to portray both of them, which I thought was a little weird. I thought Act I did a pretty good job of following along with the novella, but I felt Act II was so rushed that we missed A LOT of the details Voltaire wrote in his version. Many of the scenes from the novella in Act II were combined with other scenes or rearranged in the movie. For example, (I don't remember exactly how the scene went, but I think it went like this) the governor sold Candide a ship with holes in it and Vanderdendur was the captain of the ship...instead of how it went in the novella when Vanderdendur sailed off with Candide's fortune so Candide boarded another ship and then watched Vanderdendur's ship get later attacked. I love watching musicals, but after a certain point I was kind of over the movie. I think this feeling occurred because I was comparing it to the Candide we read. I liked it in the beginning, but unfortunately Act II really brought it down for me. Had I not already read Candide, I probably might have liked this movie more.

Jack Zheng said...

I didn't say it was wacky, Ms. Klebba did

Antonio Imbornone said...

I think it's safe to say that we all enjoyed watching the play. It is also very common for plays and movies to omit sections of the story to allow it to fit into the appropriate time slot. We saw this earlier this year with St. Martin's own production of To Kill A Mocking Bird. However, the play (I'm talking about Candide now) introduced additions to Voltaire's original work that I actually really enjoyed. The role of Pangloss as the narrator was actually quite enjoyable. Aside from the actor doing an excellent job, I feel as though the narrator in the theatrical version provided more room for comedic instances throughout the story. We also saw the chorus and use of music throughout the play. Though Candide was not originally written as a musical, the use of song in the play was very prominent and actually made the story more enjoyable.

Abbey said...

ALRIGHT JACK ZHENG I TAKE MY COMPLIMENT BACK.

Jack Zheng said...

@Madison Cummings I found it frustrating that the protagonists in the play are as naive as infants too. In general, I prefer stories where the hero is intelligent enough to see through traps that the reader can see (e.g. Hamlet). I think that a dumb protagonist frustrates the reader by provoking a sense of powerlessness, as the character falls for evil plans that could be easily detected with some intelligence.