Muerte en La Habana (scene 1)

SCENE I

All characters in this script are either Spanish or Cuban and will be speaking in Spanish language. Inside a busy airport in Spain. Pablo, in his 30s, is standing up in a cafeteria trying to look at the flight schedule panel. Andrea, also in her 30s, is sitting down next to him scrolling through her phone. 

AIRPORT – INSIDE – DAY TIME 

Pablo (in Spanish)

I’m going to take a closer look at the panel. I’ll be right back.  

Andrea (in Spanish)

Sure…

Pablo takes a sip from his coffee and keeps, when his cell phone starts ringing and he looks a little surprised before picking it up. 

Pablo

Miguel! Hey man what’s up?

Miguel (voice over the phone)

Let me guess, you’re already at the airport.

Pablo

Yeah, why?

Miguel

Are you kidding me? After what you told me what she did?

Pablo (looks around to see if Andrea is nearby, he walks away from the panel)

Hey, hey, hey listen we’re just going through a rough patch right now and we… well…  will get through this…together…somehow

Miguel

You actually believe that? I just don’t understand how you can forgive her so easily

Pablo

I said, we are working through it

Miguel

By getting on a plane to Cuba? How is that going to solve anything?

Pablo

I don’t know… I’m just hoping we can reconnect and…

Miguel

You’re a fool! 

Andrea sees that their gate is finally showing on the electric panel. She calls Pablo.

Andrea (calling him softly)

Pablo!

Pablo is too distracted on the phone to hear her or to pay attention to the flight schedule.

Pablo (speaking into the phone)

You’ve never been married so you don’t get to say anything to me!

Miguel

No, but I know a fool when I see one!

Andrea (calling him loudly)

Pablo!

Pablo

I have to go

Miguel 

You’re a fool man! She’s a lying, cheating, bi…

Pablo hangs up the phone. Smiles at Andrea and picks up his hand baggage.

Andrea

Who was that?

Pablo

Just Miguel wishing us a safe trip

Andrea

Really? He’s been acting weird around me lately

Pablo

What? Miguel? Nooo… 

Andrea

Fine. Whatever. Our gate is ready for boarding, we have to go! 

Pablo

Oh! Okay. Let’s go! 

They take their things and start walking together to their gate. As they walk Andrea looks at Pablo a couple of times, hesitating whether or not to dig deeper about the phone conversation he just had with his friend. Finally she commits.

Andrea (while walking)

What were you two talking about?

Pablo (while walking)

Huh?

Andrea

Stop acting stupid! What were you talking about?

Pablo

Nothing babe, just wishing us a safe trip

Andrea

You were talking about me, weren’t you?

Pablo

We have to get to our gate before they close. Can we talk about this later?

Andrea

So you were talking about me?

Pablo (starting to get annoyed)

You were mentioned…

Andrea

What did he say?

Pablo

Do we have to talk about it now? We’re not even close to our gate.

Andrea

Okay. When are we going to talk about it?

Pablo

Do we have to talk about it, at all? Can’t we just enjoy our vacation time?

Andrea

Is this what this is, huh? A trip to Cuba to forget all our problems?

Pablo 

No, Andrea this is not what this trip is about. If I wanted to leave all  my problems behind I would have just taken this flight by myself. 

Andrea is visibly annoyed now. The tone of the conversation is getting harsher and louder. 

Andrea

I didn’t ask you to take me on an expensive vacation to Cuba

Pablo

I know. But we never had a real honeymoon so I just thought…

Andrea

You just thought what? 

Pablo

Honestly, I don’t know!  Do you want to get on this airplane or not because we will not make it to our gate on time if we keep wasting our breath like this!

Andrea (sarcastically)

When you ask me so romantically how can I say no?

Pablo (visibly irritated now)

You want to talk, huh? Okay! Are you still talking to him?

Andrea

Talking to who?

Pablo (raising his voice in anger)

Who is acting stupid now? Alejandro, of course! Are you still fucking talking to him?

They stop walking. Andrea is shocked Pablo asked that question. They are both angry now and staring at each other in silence. Over the airport loudspeakers they are announcing their flight to Cuba is now boarding.

Airport loudspeakers (in spanish)

Now boarding for flight CX1094 to La Habana

We ask passengers to please come to Gate G21

Gate21 is now open for boarding

Pablo and Andrea are looking at each other in silence as the loudspeaker keeps calling other flights in the background. People are passing by them rushing to get to their gates. Seconds pass by before either of them know what to say next. 

Pablo (trying very hard to be calm)

Do you want to get on this airplane with me, or not?

Andrea (still mad)

No.

Pablo (surprised and sad)

No?

Andrea

No, I am no longer talking to Alejandro. The question hurts!

Pablo

I’m sorry

They look deeply in each other’s eyes. Andrea takes Pablo’s hand. They silently take their baggage in the other hand and start walking to Gate21 to board. 

(END SCENE I)

Why ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ failed to be Wonder Woman

When Gal Gadot was first introduced to the DC cinematographic universe as the heroin Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s 2016 “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” audiences worldwide loved the perfect casting choice. She truely feels like the right actress for the role, much like Henry Cavill feels just right for the role of Superman. On top of that, we were given a free display of her incredible powers as she went head to head against none other than Doomsday, a mutated, kryptonian zombie made from Zod’s corpse with the power to kill Superman and devastate entire cities by himself. Not bad for her first appearance on the big screen in over forty years! The film does right to the character by showing Diana as a plausible stand alone hero. She doesn’t ask for help because she doesn’t need it, she doesn’t get manipulated by Lex Luthor becasue she is above that and she jumps fearlessly into battle against a super villain, when she knows that millions of innocent lives are at stake. Honestly, I can hardly think of a better way on how they could have show-cased Wonder Woman to wider audiences than with this amazing first appearance. That is why it is so hard and painful to ask two simple questions: Why then did Wonder Woman 1984 not show more character depth than just “being in love” and how are any of the things she faces in the film even a challenge to her?

Wonder Woman’s 1984 opening scene sets us directly into Paradise Island during some sort of Amazonian Crossfit Challenge where Diana is a nine year old girl competing against full grown women. This made me believe that the movie was going to be about Diana’s origins on the Amazonian island, growing up among strong female role models, dig in to her mysterious super powers and how to control them, explore her relationship with other Amazonian women like Mala, etc… I was… very wrong. Wonder Woman 1984 instead of exploring any of Diana’s origin stories, brings us to the year 1984. Why? Marketing purposes is my best guess. The 80s look and sound like fun without being too much of a rip off from “Thor Ragnarok” or “Guardians of the Galaxy” that brought Marvel, or should I say Disney, amazing profits. The entire film then just continues Diana’s fight against Maxwell Lord, who is a single dad desperately trying to prove to his son that he is not a complete loser, and Cheetah, an archeologist jealous of Wonder Woman’s popularity. It comes to no surprise that both script writer Geoff John and director Patty Jenkins did not want to go this route initially.

When DC comics released “Wonder Woman Earth One” in 2016 readers were finally able to learn more about Diana’s origin world, the Amazons and Paradise Island. Greek mythology, conspiracies, Diana’s bisexuality, saving both worlds and proving oneself as a hero, are just a few of the many themes explored in this epic comic written by Grant Morrison. Few graphic novels go as deep into exploring a comic book character as this one does. A must read for DC fans and undoubtetly a great pick up for comic collectors, DC fan or not. If the first Wonder Woman movie was about Diana’s adventures in the world of men and fighting alongside them to save the world, then maybe the second movie had the one time opportunity to explore her origins among the Amazonians. In Marvel’s “Thor” the movie, his father Odin expells him from the heavenly kingdom of Asgard because Thor had become arrogant and not worthy of the magical hammer Mjolnir. Thor thinks he is ready to be crowned king but Odin has one more humbling lesson for him as he sends him down to Midgard (Earth). Actions, not words, explain to the audience the relationship between father and son in this epic tale of Viking family feud. Let’s bring it back to Wonder Woman and the Amazonians, shalle we? Who are Diana’s parents? Who are the elder gods that Steppenwolf mentions in Justice League and are never, ever mentioned again? In the abscense of her parents, did she have any role models growing up? Did she have to break up a previous relationship with one of the amazonian women before meeting Steve Trevor? Who exactly sent her on her mission to become mankind’s saviour and why? Did she in one or more occations save Paradise Island from outside forces or maybe from enemies within? All of these questions and many more are sadly left unanswered.

As to the villains themselves in the film, I have one simple question. How are they even a challenge to Wonder Woman? We saw her go head to head with Doomsday in “Batman v Superman”. Then we saw her fight Steppenwolf by herslef in “Justice League”. Yes, I mean what I write. She fought them by herself, since Batman and the others were mostly just busy saving hostages and fighting off little flying mosquito men. How does a hero like that need a fancy golden armor to fight a cat lady? As the big comic nerd that I am, I appreciate the producers and writers are trying to squeeze in characters and villains in the films such as Cheetah that are canon in Wonder Women comics. But after fighting not one but two omega level super villains by herself, Cheetah just feels a little underwhelming. The real problem of the movie is Maxwell Lord. The set up for this villain took up too much screen time, thus not giving space for our main protagonist to develop more, besides just eternally mourning Steve Trevor’s tragic death. Pedro Pascal’s villain has a much wider character arch than the protagonist, as he goes through all kinds of life’s frustrations, spends too much time in the office being a super villain that he forgets the most important thing to him, his son. He then finally finds redemption by giving up his awesome powers. Meanwhile, Diana breaks up with Trevor’s ghost.

It is still unclear to me if producers just didn’t believe in Wonder Woman as a stand alone super hero movie that they didn’t even give her a fighting chance to shine on her own or if they thought exploring her origins and her sexuality was too risky. What is clear is that they decided to instead go for a cookie-cutter version of Diana, one that mourns the same guy for 40 years and fights villains based off Jim Carrey’s character from 90s family film “Liar Liar”. Whatever Wonder Woman’s next adventure may be I hope she gets the respect that a main DC character like herlself deserves, may it be in a stand alone film or in a team up movie.

Chapter One

The not so incredible adventures of Till, the Icebreaker 

Angry Road Signs 

The wind was whistling among the ancient pine and oak trees during a cold winter evening. Two lonely figures were wandering Drumwalt forest with nothing but rock, snow and dead branches to guide their path. They walked among bolders the size of castles and dead trees the size of giants, the two cloaked men looked like ants desperately trying to advance against the forces of nature. Their clothes had been covered in snow and leaves from the strong gusts of wind blowing from the east. The younger of the two men came to sudden halt. He looked down at his feet and couldn’t help the feeling of desperation overcoming him. He let out a yell that was covered by the deafening winds.

“Trollshit!” complained Till to the sky.  

“What is it now youngling?” asked Master Isnet with a tired and irritated voice.  

“No, I mean literally… Trollpoop!” replied Till pointing with a stick to an enormous pile of Troll droppings. “It’s huge!” He didn’t really have to add that last bit, it was quite evident. 

“Mmmm…. And fresh too!” nodded Master Isnet. 

“How do you know that?” asked Till, raising one eyebrow in disgust.  

“The more it stinks the fresher it is!” 

“Eeeeeeww! Master!”  

“Note that down.” 

“What? The stink or the size?” 

“Both, you imbecil!”  

Till took out of his small bag a brown leather notebook and wrote down the words: Big and stinky Trollpoop. The bigger and smellier the…  He couldn’t finish his sentence as both his hands started trembling. He soon noticed that the ground he was standing on was shaking as well. With his eyes wide open he turned quickly towards Master Isnet. The old man in return stretched his arm towards him showing palm, in a sign to keep still. Both, master and pupil stood silent for a few moments. The earth shook once more, and a yawn was heard so loud it seemed to come from everywhere in the forest. A humongous obelisk that was standing there beside the small road of stones and branches started to move on its own. What moments before had been a normal rock shaped like a road sign indicating directions to the nearest town had now grown legs and arms out of the same sharp and grey mattter as the rest of its body. What had looked like a round shaped rock on top of the pile of stones, was now opening its eyes and mouth of pure darkness. Till had never seen a stone troll before and he didn’t dare to move in fear it might attract the monster’s attention towards him.  

“Who disturb troll sleepy time?” said a deep voice that was inexplicably coming out of that pile of big stones.  

“Who?!” shouted the voice in a deeper and angrier tone. Till had no idea on what he should do next. He slowly turned his neck towards his master and made a grimace of cluelessness. To which Master Isnet answered whispering: “Talk to it…” In complete disbelief of what he had just heard he asked with a voice so low only the movement of his lips could tell what he was saying:” What?!”  

“I said, talk to it!” whispered Master Isnet once more. Till had heard the words coming out of his master, but they didn’t make any sense to him. Talk to what? Say what?  

Master Isnet pointed with his index finger to the troll and nodded. Till turned his neck towards the troll again and for more seconds than he would like to admit, he hesitated to do anything at all.  

“Till! Till the icebreaker!” he finally yelled at the troll. It wasn’t really courage that made him choose those words but rather a mixture of blank fear and curiosity.  

“Till? Till the icebreaker?” said the mountain of rocks as if he recognized the name.  

“Yes! That is me!” Till’s fear had turned into a slight optimistic hope that if the monster for some inexplicable reason knew his name, he might still make it out of this alive.  

“Ne-ver hear of tjou!” with that almost incomprehensible exclamation Till’s small shimmer of hope and optimism plummet like a falling stone in his stomach. Distress and panic were quickly overcoming Till’s mind. The troll was clumsily yet steadily approaching the two men, with each step shaking the ground beneath his feet.  

“Of course you have heard of me!” yelled out Till, without the slightest idea of what he was doing or what he was going to say next. The troll stopped, to great surprise of Till and Master Isnet. For a brief moment it seemed to be interested in what the little man a few steps away from him was going to say next. Maybe it was considering whether to crush him, trample him, squeeze him, rip him apart, eat him or listen out what he will say and then do all of those things in that order.  

“I am Tiiiiiill!! The Ice! BRREAKEERRR!!” shouted out loud Till ,in a dumb and desperate hope this might impress the troll, somehow.  

To Till’s sheer astonishment the troll then inquired: ”You… Ice… break?”  

He had never imagined to get this far in a conversation with that big pile of rocks. So he continued the only way he knew how, by improvising just like he had done so far.  

“Yeeeeess! ME! BREAK! THE ICE!” exclaimed Till.  

“How?” asked the troll as innocently as a child would.  

“I… I… break ice… with uh…” not expecting the troll to ask more questions Till had lost his chain of thought. The little improvisation skills Till had mustered were now faining.

“How?” asked the troll, slowly regaining his previous grumpiness.  

Panic was regaining its grip on Till: “Well you know… this one time… the lake was frozen and… and the chilldren of the lake… I tried saving them all… but… but you know… and since then people just call me that.” 

“Tju dunno howta break ice! Tju no Ice BREAKAH!”  the troll’s stony voice was filled with fury for he felt he was being cheated out of a good story. “Tju ARE A LAYAH!!” screamed the troll so loudly it almost made Till’s eardrums explode. The rocky figure was now mere moments away from turning Till into a squished ball of meat who had accepted his impending doom with closed eyes.

“STONY SILENCE!” yelled out Master Isnet. His walking staff gave out a sudden, bright light of white and yellow directed at the troll. The stomping had stopped and the yelling had ceased. Till was still with his eyes closed waiting to be one with the spirits at any moment. Only as the silent seconds past without any squishing or dismembering did he finally take the courage to open his eyes. There he was, the giant troll with its mouth wide open, with his arms stretching towards him and only a few feet away, yet completely immobile. In an eery silence the troll was stuck to the ground unable to move, as he had been turned back into a solid mass of inanimate rocks.   

“That was close!” said Master Isnet jokingly.  

“Close? Could you not have done that sooner?” yelled Till who was still incredulous of his vital status.  

“Oh, but you know, we can never use the same spell twice. I had to come up with something I hadn’t used before in my many, many years of troll hunting.”  

“Stony Silence… that was easy enough!”  

“Hush! Don’t say words that might come in handy later. Words is all…” 

“Is all we have. I know Master”  

“You were about to tell the troll something about a frozen lake.” 

“Oh, there is really nothing to it. Nonsense I came up with as I improvised.”  

Master Isnet looked at Till skeptically.  

“Well, no point on wasting any more time here. Next stop River Valley!” continued talking Till, trying a little bit too hard to change the subject. Knowing they were already a day late for their meeting with the Trinket Master, the old man realized the boy just wasn’t ready for that conversation yet and quickly gave up on the subject.

“Right, River Valley…” said Master Isnet in a deep and calm voice. The two cloaked men walked around a big road sign made of rocks, shaped so bizarrely, it almost seemed like it once had a mouth and limbs. One step at a time they continued their endless battle against the ceaseless, blowing winds. The giant trees of Drumwalt forest watched in silence as two tiny ants continued their journey West.