Film Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End


Film: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Director: Gore Verbinski

Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Chow Yun Fat

Rating: 2.5/5

Jack Sparrow might very well be a pirate; even so, he is loved about as much as your spouse, next of kin or even your next door neighbour. So, when a film of epic proportions comes along, it is not that easy to miss it. Close to three hours, this film is a mixed bag of good performances, a whole lot of goof ups and outstanding direction topped with a spinning plot.

The infamous Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is rescued from the land of the dead by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) and William (Orlando Bloom). Meanwhile, Davey Jones (Bill Nighy) and Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander) form an agreement to conquer the seas and annihilate the few pirates that remain.

Realising what is brewing, Jack and his crew have all the pirate lords, including Sao Feng (Chow-Yun Fat), at assembly. Everyone is told about the trouble heading towards them. After a brawl, they decide to release goddess Calypso, in the hope that she will protect them and spare their lives. What follows is a fierce battle between the pirates and the East India Trading, including Jones, to save their life, love and honour.

To start off with, this film is filled with goofs (while most filmmakers believe viewers have fun spotting them, this one causes frustration with the sheer numbers). Forget minor flaws, things like continuity and missing characters is what rankles the most.

While the screenplay is elaborate and well executed, the steep gushes the film flows in and out of, is mind numbing. There is a lot that goes on at any given point, so many characters and so many actions; most of which seem to be included in vain. The idea of having so many characters would have been to leverage the film with a level of involvement. However, because of the sheer indulgence, besides the main characters, the new inclusions seem to have been misplaced. For example; in the beginning, the young lad who is singing; seems to be missing in a long shot. Even in the climax, where Jack and his crew are warring against the East India Trading company, the other pirates who seemed to be in it with him are missing.

Keeping this rationale aside; the film scores high on its well written dialogues. This paves the way for the actors to deliver them with panache. The dialogues enhanced with involving scenes make for nail biting proceedings. Even on the technical front, the film is spectacular, the camerawork, the art direction, the prolific sets – all of it. Of course, the editing is a completely different ball game; the editing clippers could have certainly been used far more. Because the two hour, 46 minute long epic has not been edited into a crisp and exhilarating flick, it has you cribbing throughout the film.

To the many ardent clichéd Hindi film fans, this movie offers just the same amount of masala. There is so much in terms of action, drama, emotions; garnished with romance,  all that seems missing is a song-dance routine and a stereotypical mother in law.

All said and done, the sheer excitement that this film manages to bring about is unparalleled. In spite of the long-drawn-out screenplay, you find yourself gasping for breath while at the edge of your seat.

The performances by the actors are positively mind-blowing. While the lack of Depp is made up, with him hallucinating on and off, this provides for a varied performance each time. He breathes life into his character. Bloom, on the other hand, fails to deliver a convincing performance, it’s only the styling that catches the eye. Knightley, on the other hand, pulls off her character’s gradual growth into an empowering captain, splendidly. Harris in the initial stages begins to scare you; in the latter half, has you in splits with her nonsensical act. Davenport, Rush, Nighy and Chow Yun Fat put up unforgettable performances.

With the biggest opening in industry history, a booty of $401 million in its first week, one knows the film is doing great business. It is evident that the film will do a good amount of business in India as well, with the buzz of its US success being leveraged to promote the film. Additionally, with the film being dubbed in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, rest assured the cash registers will be ringing overtime.

Over indulgence or not, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is a compulsory family outing.