Films | Movie Reviews | FILM – The Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides

FILM – The Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on May 20, 2011 | No Comments

FILM – The Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides
PRODUCER –Jerry Bruckheimer
DIRECTOR – Rob Marshall
WRITER – Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
CAST – Johnny Depp, Penélope CruZ, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane
MUSIC – Hans Zimmer

Jack Sparrow’s swashbuckling adventures continue with the fourth feature in the default series. In this one, Jack Sparrow, his cohorts and rivals sail ‘on stranger tides’ to find the ‘fountain of the youth’. Elizabeth Swann (Kiera Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) feature nowhere in this journey replaced by Angelica (played sufficiently shrewish and sexy by Penelope Cruz) and few others. The menacing and darkly comic journey of the pirates continues with enthusiasm and flair.

A romantic angle is also infused into the narrative to add more of the roundedness the franchise is used to. However, it’s not only another young distressed pair in love (a lovely Syrena and a handsome Philip) a la Elizabeth and Will but Sparrow himself. His once-besotted past catches up with him in the form of Angelica and he is no longer the Sparrow we knew although he is the same on the surface. So Philip tries his heroic best to save Syrena even as Sparrow doesn’t seem to care much for Angelica despite the romantic sparring on and off.

Barbossa (a yet again competent Geoffrey Rush) appears without his tentacles this time, having become a privateer for the king. Having lost the Black Pearl to Blackbeard (Ian McShane) he is hunting for Blackbeard’s blood while pretending to look for the Fountain for the King. Blackbeard has had a prophecy about his own death and is hunting for the Fountain too. Angelica, his daughter wants him to have it and hence captures Sparrow to help them on the journey.

Although it’s always the journey that is the most fun, (Sparrow even quips away that line in careless self-defense) the fourth version of the Pirates of the Caribbean becomes a tad bit more meandering than it intends to be. The enthusiasm is all there but more striking becomes the fact that the evil, heartless and eccentrically dark world we knew doesn’t seem to be as dangerous now. A layer of comic bears hard on it as the eccentricity seems withered. Sparrow seems like lesser of his enthusiastically slimy self and the screenplay does him no justice by making him a mere player in this feature rather than the cavalier Captain he is.

The cinematography maintains a stunning consistency with the franchise even as the action and graphics are tepid and almost non-violent in comparison. The 3D seems absolutely unnecessary yet again as the film proves that it is the narrative that matters.

For Pirates of Caribbean fans it’s a deal that is enjoyable but least among the four. It has none of its staples of ruthless imminent danger and loose evil forces to be controlled by vulnerable forces of good. A little skewed, a little slow, a little meandering and a little less wicked than it should have been, the film is a watch but not a must. However, you still feel like throwing a hat in the air for the ol’pirate, such is his charm and guess, that is enough for the film.

FATEMA H.KAGALWALA

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