The loveable rascals are back. Captain Jack Sparrow returns yet again for another adventure (I am sure he will keep on returning for some more) and though Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley are missing this time, Captain Barbossa and Gibbs continue to regale us with their witticisms and mannerisms. Adding the spark this time is the gorgeous Penelope Cruz as Depp’s ex-flame and Ian mc Shane as the famed pirate Blackbeard, who is supposedly Penelope’s father.
I remember when I watched the first episode of POTC I was completely at loss for reaction. The screen seemed a chaotic mish mash with filthy images and background, dirty faced uncouth men, a few menacing but witty big shots and shots of Sea with lots of Sea sword fights, but I was intrigued by the images and Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow fascinated me. The snazzy devil may care attitude and dialogues were an instant hit and I watched the other two of the series too, out of skeptical curiosity, though I had a tough time keeping up with the plot and pace. But Part four is an entirely new story with just a faint connection with the other three which is mentioned at the outset itself, so if you are watching this movie for the first time, you are not missing much of the storyline.
The movie begins with Jack in search of his ship Black pearl, which was in possession of Captain Barbossa, his rival and following some hurried introductions, the plot jumps onto a race for the fountain of youth by the three contenders- the Spanish, The British expedition led by none other than Capt Barbossa who now no longer in possession of the black pearl, but with an ulterior motive in the expedition. The third party in which Jack Sparrow finds himself unwittingly is led by none other than the notorious pirate Blackbeard with his magical powers along with Penelope Cruz who has an amorous past connection with Depp . What follows next is a failed mutiny, mermaids, skeletons, double crossing (the trademark in the Pirates Franchise) a sub plot of a sub romance between a pair of sub casts, action and the usual pirates masala stuff. The changed hands ,in the direction of the movie (From Gore Berbinsky to Rob Marshall) is marked by the pace of the movie which is comfortable enough and the plot lucid, a point which I feel is the only point of difference from the other three-which were quite racy and overlapping, to make your head spin.
If you love your films as a larger than life experience, with glitz and glamour and technical wizardry, if you are a sincere Johnny Depp Fan, if you are a smartass with a panache for wit and attitude, if you love fantasy and magic, if you are not that fussy about the concept of good and evil, then you will love this movie. Depp is charming as Jack and becomes more wickedly charming towards the end. Geoffrey Rush rises some more as Captain Barbossa in part four. At this rate, he has a mighty chance of overpowering the magic of Depp. Penelope … hmm! Penelope or Keira Knightley? Who was better? Difficult to answer and this is one heck of an undiplomatic question which I would prefer to pass it on. Ian Mc Shane is noticeable as Blackbeard. The rest of the cast and crew leave a faint mark in your memory which might awaken later … or it might not.
Ginger Chai verdict-Though it might not hold the attention of a child below eight years of age, it definitely is for the child within the man.
Movie review by Mani Padma. While Mani brews her intoxicating chai brew here, some of her flavours are left out in her personal blog which she calls it as her own Trash Bin