Saturday, June 02, 2007

A sea of adventures

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Naomie Harris, Chow Yun-Fat

Writing about the second part of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, Dead Man’s Chest, one reviewer wrote that it was 45 minutes film stretched into one and half hours. Now, the concluding saga At World’s End is even longer, two hours and forty-seven minutes, to be precise. But you can’t complaint about it being stretched. Rather, it’s crammed, to the point that you wish if some of the plots were not there at all. Director Gore Verbinski seems to have taken a leaf from Spider-Man director Sam Raimi cramming as many things as he can, thinking perhaps that it’s his last chance with the seafarers. But as the film ends, finally, you half expect that there’s a next one coming.
But first, the world’s end! It begins at Singapore. The destination is Devey Jones’ (Bill Nighy) locker where Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is trapped. For that the crew, comprising of the usual suspects, captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Sawn (Keira Knightley), and the mysterious sorceress Tia Dalma (Naomie Harris), must first obtain the navigation chart from a formidable pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat). By why do they need captain Jack? Because, Lord Backett has obtain the heart of Devey Jones and he’s on a pirate hunt with the help of the Flying Dutchman. Now, Jack is one of the nine pirates who’s part of the council that can stand against the might of the East India Company. But the adventure is not as smooth as it looks when everyone of them have a plan of his own, and when everyone of them seek to outwit the other at any cost. Will wants his father free, Jack wants to get rid of his debt, Barbossa has promise to keep and so on. Add to that Devy Jones love affair and Lord Backett’s politics you have quite a complicated plot, and it’s all happening at the sea, in one ship of other. And did we mention a host of new characters meandering through this complicated drama, including the Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards in a miniscule role as Jack’s father. Add to that loads of pirate myths, rules, and such mumbo jumbo and the mandatory sword fights, cannon fires and battles at the sea, you have quite heavy stuff hear, as heavy as the Black Pearl, which change hand for god knows how many times.
But the film is far more superior than its predecessor and takes you the same kind of adventure that made Curse of the Black Pearl so popular. Rush is back, but not as formidable as before, Harris gets bigger and better footage, Nighy gets to show off his tentacles, Bloom fights as usual and the new addition to the franchise Yun-Fat shines as a Chinese pirate. But it’s Knightley all the way. She gets to do everything possible aboard a pirates vessel and she does them all convincing well.
The star of the show is however, obviously is Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. His solo acts of delusion with so many of Jacks filling the screen is just awesome. You go to see Pirates of the Caribbean for Jack Sparrow and he lives up to your expectations, a marvelous achievement, especially when the scenes are so crowed with so many interesting characters.
There are no skeletons here. But the special effects are the real winners, especially when you wouldn’t even realise that they are graphics. Watch out for the journey into the other world and watch out for the final battle.
So, get aboard folks, and set the sail. Only be on the track and if you get confused, don’t complain.

Rating *** 1/2 (Good

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