full movie review Pirates of the Caribbean Captain Jack Sparrow
I remember watching the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie a little sometime after its theatrical release (Nobody knew back then that it was about to become one of the biggest hits of 2003). I remember something very distinct from that movie-watching experience: the character of Jack Sparrow, played by this guy called Johnny Depp, who was loved equally by me and my mom. Now, contrary to popular expectations, that really wasn’t something which was never seen in our delightful little family. What was never seen, however, was something which happened a few months hence. It was a certain February morning in ’04 when me and my mom got really “angry” at a trivial ‘filmy’ matter; when Johnny was denied what Depp fans like to call his ‘due prize’ (He was nominated for the Oscar, of course, but never got it).
My mom (And also my young co-watcher) went on to say that he deserved it more than anybody (although neither my mom nor I had actually seen the other nominated actors that year in their nominated roles) and I totally agreed with her!This is what happens when you watch Jack Sparrow and his crazy antics for the very first time! He’ll bowl you over with his witty one-liners, wacky demeanor and of course, his tendency to hilariously (sometimes) over-estimate himself. He’s confident, a tad too much if you ask me, when he declares, not without reason, “Gentlemen, you’ll all remember this day as the day that you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!”
Jack is funny and in a very complete but unconscious sort of way. He’s even funnier than the characters played by him prior to that of Jack Sparrow which must that include his role in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, “Benny and Joon”, and even the clever and rickety detective in “Sleepy Hollow”. But defining Johnny in the Pirates franchise with the single word ‘funny’ would be a gross understatement. He is a hero… a shady one at that, but a hero nevertheless. He escapes hundreds of bullets, dodges swords… escapes miraculously from the island he is marooned on… People tell stories about him and legends are woven around him which are as mysterious as the Flying Dutchman itself.
Jack is a figure of rigorous determination, cunning… and courage. And as my faithful co-watcher put it, “Heroes can’t get better than him!” He is left with a single shot in a lonely island where he is stranded by his rebel crew. Yet, he manages to get out of that island (with a little bit of luck) with that single shot intact, which he is saving for his rebellious first mate Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush).
“Jack likes to be mysterious” my enthusiastic co-watcher points out, “A trait men must have to woo women” (Mental note, guys!) He prefers a little drama before he spills the beans to shock ’em all! Sometimes, it arises out of a necessity… as in the first movie where he couldn’t divulge to anyone that he too, had been affected by the curse that lingered over the fabled Aztec gold! But what could’ve been the reason for not telling his fellow sufferers that he was on the same page? “It was ego… pure male ego, really!” My co-watcher explains. “He just wanted to make it look like he was far better off than the ‘almost’ zombies of the Black Pearl!”
Jack’s a woman’s treaure chest when it comes to keeping secrets… from his magical compass, love (Which is still a secret, really… but I guess we know him to be a Womanizer!)… to his family… everything is shrouded in mystery! He’s almost like a modern day enigmatic Hollywood star! We are introduced to his dad in the third movie (played by Keith Richards, the original inspiration behind Jack’s character), but that is about the only thing we know about his family. I guess some characters are better off being a mystery, an enigma… that’s how the Hollywood ‘Franchise’ charm works, doesn’t it?
As my co-watcher forces me back into the topic of ‘Love’, I don’t think abyone can call Jack a bloody misogynist (And my co-watcher finally agrees with me), coz he has ‘lots and lots’ of girl-friends in Tortuga (if you know what I mean). And it is pretty evident that Jack knows how to respect women as well… the manner in which he interacted with the well-bred British lady of the Indies Elizabeth (Keira Knightley). His tete-a-tetes with the most important female character in this series, Elizabeth, actually makes for a very interesting viewing! He is a flirty kind of guy (“No question about that,” my co-watcher says)… and in the 2nd movie… and Elizabeth seemingly falls for him, wrongfully assuming that Jack had actually returned to rescue her out of the crumbling Black Pearl.
But as is the trend with heroes irrespective of time and place, the lack of a genuine love didn’t stop Sparrow from being a good person! When his quest to kill Davy Jones (played by Bill Nighy) to become immortal and possess “The Flying Dutchman” came knocking at his door, he (in true ‘Bollywood’ Hero fashion) decided to save the fatally wounded Will (Orlando Bloom) in the end, ending up sacrificing his quest for the ‘Greater Good’! And with it, fans across the globe heaved a sigh of massive relief, along with my co-watcher, “Alright, the man we loved so much isn’t simply a bloody pirate after all… I told you he was a good pirate!”
Walt Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer films have declared a fourth Pirates movie (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), in which Johnny would reprise his role as ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’. Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom will be the absentees while Geoffrey Rush would be back as well. Thanks to the fact that the second and the third instalments of the franchise were solely watchable because of Jack Sparrow, “it would be interesting to see how the Hollywood moneymongers destroy yet another series” (Not my words!) Well, pathetic or not, us fans would probably still flock for the premiere-show tickets when the next feature hits theatres… and hopefully, Johnny as Jack would be as good as he has ever been.
That’s the least we can hope for!
P.S. Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles won the Oscar in 2004 for Best Actor. Well, he was truly extraordinary in the movie but… there’s always a but!
Nevertheless, this year has seen Johnny’s ‘Public Enemies’ avatar and Foxx’s sterling performance in ‘The Soloist’. So Oscars or not, it’s good to see both stars still going strong after all these years. And in case both get nominated again… GO JOHNNY, GO GO GO!