Friday, August 04, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest****

What do you call a film that is nothing but a joyride. Disney itself has positioned the movie as a theme-park film, and if one has caught the first part, then you get a fair idea. Like in the case of most sequels, the second one is even more fantastic and far-fetched.

The plot of the movie is fairly complicated, so I will put a brief outline below borrowed from a contributor 'Undead Ozzy' on
Picking up where the first movie left off, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan are to be married. However this is interrupted when both are arrested for aiding in the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow's escape. The new captain, Beckett, will lift all charges, if Will can hunt down Jack and bring him back to Beckett, along with his magic compass. However, Jack has other problems. Years ago, he made a deal with Davy Jones to raise the Black Pearl. Time is up. His part of the deal was to give Davy Jones his soul. Once Will finds Jack, unaware of the current situation, Jack coaxes Will into boarding Davy Jones's ship, the Flying Dutchman, and retrieve a mysterious key. This key opens the chest that contains Davy Jones's secret. With it, you can control Davy Jones and his fearsome beast, The Kraken. Once Will retrieves the said key, Davy Jones is hot on his trail, now hunting down both Jack and Will. It is now, only a matter of time, before something happens. Hopefully the pirates can reach the chest and stop Davy Jones, before he reaches them and sends them all to a watery grave...

And the movie ends just where it gives way to an even more interesting third part, shot simultanously with Part2, but to be released next summer. I also mention below a list of hilarious quotes from the movie:

What is so engaging about the Pirates series? The movie has had the best opening ever for a Hollywood film, and I can only imagine there are a lot of people like me out there who enjoy such fantasies. While the movie primarily appeals to the child within, I am not sure it is fit for the consumption of children. There is lots of violence, though not of the gory types, and I surely know of a kid who refused to watch it scared by Jones' tentacles.

The movie is so watchable mainly because of the action-a-minute sequence. The pace never drags at all, so that even the relatively long 150 mins passes in a jiffy.

Apart from the edge-of-seat direction, the movie becomes what it is because of the performances. Johnny Depp is my single favourite actor of the current generation, the best after Al Pacino. He is stylised, quirky, and most importantly, gives conviction to any character he plays. While he surely gives extra bite to relatively cranky characters like in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', even relatively straight portrayals like in 'Finding Neverland' are good enough for him to win an Academy Award nomination. I think someone like Depp should be the way forward for Shahrukh Khan - play characters through adoption and then more detailed internalisation of a real guys' mannerisms. In fact, even in their real lives, both are quite similar by virtue of their relatively straight family existence.

What Johnny Depp does in this movie is sheer magic. While it is easy to say that he had a author-backed role, it takes a helluva effort to give a wimpy, effeminate character like Jack Sparrow the necessary bit of starry swagger and panache. There is no way I could have imagined anyone play the same role as convincingly as him. What is even more sparkling is his chemistry with Keira Knightley. Keira, in spite of her age, gives a great deal of spunk to her character, literally by wearing pants and fighting the guys using swords. And when she starts slipping for Sparrow, you can identify with her choice. Especially good is their first interaction when Keira tells Johnny about his personal hygiene, and he tries to figure it out by sniffing at his arm-pits. Their near-kiss is even better, when Keira under the garb of testing Johnny, is actually pining for him.

Why Keira falls for Johnny is very believable when you have Orlando Bloom playing the good guy, William Turner. Now Bloom is actually making a great career by convincing playing the most loser chracters: his Paris in Troy was an extremely apt coward, and his Will is so good that he reminds you of Rajendra Kumar. Unfortunately, I have serious apprehensions whether the Jubilee Star Rajendra would have worked in today's era.

The remaining starcast is also good, especially the two pirates from the previous version: Ragetti and one more chap whose name I forget. Most important of the props is the movie's catchy music score. The first time it plays when Jack comes into his first frame, and you are immediately transported into the dreamland (possibly some elements of nostalgia also for me).

The movie ends on a bright and chirpy note for another adventure. Sorry I am going to give it away, but Johnny is tricked by Keira, when they finally kiss, causing poor Orlando baby to squirm. Keira leaves Johnny stranded on the Black Pearl, where both he and his ship are devoured by Kraken. The only way to get them back is through a journey to the End of the Earth. And this expedition can only be led by the magnificent Geoffrey Rush (Barbossa in the first part, a man so evil that even hell spat him back), who comes back to the marching tunes of the famous Pirates theme music.


Anonymous said...

From a person who watched the movie with u baby, the review is so evidently in the spirit of depp's character that I'm enjoying the movie all over again....

satya said...

I havent watched the films, maybe I will.

Robert de Niro is a better actor, definately more versatile than Al Pacino any day.

Shah Rukh Khan and Johnny Depp. Let me mention the similarities. Family men yeah, but if Depp was a swining bi we would know, Shah Rukh is one.

Another similarity, I think Badshah has about an hour of the film badly copied from Johnny Depp's Nick of Time.

Abhigyan said...

I agree Robert de Niro and Aamir Khan are superior actors, but I prefer a but of panache also. That's why have highlighted the term favourite.

satya said...

Aamir Khan, who?

Abhigyan said...

Husband of Kiran Rao...And the father of how many kids we don't know