Saturday, June 09, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End**

At the risk of repeating myself, trilogies are a nice number (ever heard of Quadrilogies, Pentalogies, and so on). The greatest of them all - Godfather - could not go beyond one. There have been others like Star Wars (the original but-as-we-realised-later-Sequel trilogy), which improved with every movie for a stunning climax (Return of the Jedis). And there have been Matrix, which degenerated in to utter nonsense by the end.

At the end of Spider-Man 3, I was hopeful they will not drag a great trilogy that has worked. I guess my fear was the fate which has befallen the Pirates series. I absolutely feasted on the first part, a movie right up my alley, reminding me so much of the first Rushdie I read, Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Jack Sparrow was outstanding to get Johnny Depp an Academy Award nomination. And it launched the young Keira Knightley into global consciousness (sorry Gurinder Chadha, who cast her in Bend it like Beckham).

In spite of the relatively negative critical reviews of the second part, I quite enjoyed it, especially as it ended on a relatively exciting note (read my review However, I definitely cannot say the same about the third part.

The Pirates movies have always been long, but at a Hindi-cinemaish runtime of 168 minutes, World's End really stretches you. Each and every character has a sub-plot of his own, which only reduces the screen-impact which Johnny Depp had in the first two parts. Mind you, he is still as hilarious as ever, especially when his multiple personalities talk to each other, and in his interactions with betrayer Keira. However, the lovely Pirates theme music has been really underused (a similar problem I had with the latest James Bond's Casino Royale too).

At World's End is supposed to tie up all the loose ends of the Pirates series. There is Jack Sparrow to be rescued back from the world's end, Elizabeth and Will to get together (alas, the good thing of the second part could not really have lasted), Davy Jones and his heart to be taken care of, Will's father Bootstrap to be rescued, and Beckett & Co. to be defeated (it is actually the East India Company, a nice tribute to our Mutiny celebrations). Moreover, the evil Capt. Barbossa is back, alive and kicking.

The two main elements introduced in the new movie are Calypso (the Sea-Goddess, and the lost betrayed love of Davy) and Captain Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat in a ridiculously underwritten role). They all start off on the hunt for Jack quite stunningly, and after his rescue, the final fight ends in a brilliant climax in turbulent seas. Yet, in the meantime, apart from a very enchanting pirate-lord gathering, you witness none of the sparks of the first two installments. Elizabeth still looks as attractive, kisses more men, exchanges marital vows with Will in between a sword-fight, has a tragic sort of finish to her love story, yet looks done with the character.

Box-office returns not withstanding, my sincere request to Disney would be not to extend the franchise any further. I can live with more Spider-Mans, but Jack Sparrow, surely does not deserve the fate of Neo.


svety said...

Spoken, rather written like a true blue pirates for me, I loved the movie...i really didn't think much of 2 and haven't seen 1...but i liked this one..
What the heck, as Sparrow said 'Nobody move, I've dropped me brain.."

rayshma said...

i quite liked d movie! actually, i'm not a pirates fan, just a p'lar sparrow's fan... and boy! is he kewl!
i guess i don't think much when i see movies *or even otherwise!*, so i end up liking almost everything i see!