You know how people with a malignant cancer await death to put them out of their misery, or search for the silver lining in the form of a human hand overcome by euthanasia? I felt precisely that way as I sat through the movie waiting for Johnny Depp to rescue the movie along with the “damsel in distress” (Orlando Bloom), and as it became increasingly clear that that wouldn’t happen, I broke out of my atheistic state and started praying for a Miltonesque fire to burn down the theater.
The movie starts off on a very somber note with the execution of many pirates, the scene ending with a child breaking into a song with a fake British accent and hideous pirates joining in. The director, Gore Verbinski, fresh from a spring internship with the noted Indian director Karan Johar, must have really impressed his mentor as tears rolled down the despicable faces of grown pirate men. I was half expecting Spiderman to jump in, save the child and join in the sorrow, but he disappointed me for a second time this summer. The original music from the first movie is inspirational enough to distract you from stealing popcorn from the person sleeping beside you.
Kiera Knightly looks adequately spunky with her high cheekbones sufficiently tanned and matching her fiery attitude throughout the movie. Unfortunately, the damsel in distress, Orlando Bloom’s attitude was as pale as the sand in some of the beautiful locations the film was shot in. Verbinksi went a step further than his mentor Johar in order to embody twenty-first century feminism in this epic two hour forty minute Rajdhani journey by showing an aggressive female lead and a homosexual (err, weak) male one.
Johnny Depp delivers comedy very effectively through some abstract backdrops in the movie, making you wonder whether they would have been better off being just single acts on Saturday Night Live. The actors playing members of his crew are funny as their great chemistry is justified after three movies together. Bill Nighy is accurately disgusting as usual as Captain Davy Jones. Chow Yun Fat overacts most of the time in a role which is totally different from anything else he has done in his career. Naomie Harris as Calypso has hardly any screen presence, leave alone that of a goddess, and Stellan Skarsgård as Bootstrap drags his acting, much like the movement of the starfish stuck to his face. Keith Richards makes a powerful entry in the movie and is good, till Verbinski, again as a sign of homage to his mentor – the great Karan Johar, makes him strum a classical guitar in a Victorian Romeo style. The world council of pirates are hilarious, especially Mistress Ching with her mannerisms and the Sikh Bhangra pirates.
Geoffrey Rush steals the show from Johnny Depp in this one. He strikes the right combination of villainy, comedy or aggressiveness as the inimitable Captain Barbosa, and I am glad they actually brought his character back to life in the second movie. Tom Hollander is also very good as the ruthless and stone cold Lord Beckett.I am told the movie has one of those publicity stunts where they have a 30 second scene after the credits roll, but even that cannot prevent it from scoring a disappointing 4/10 in my book.