Sunday, July 16, 2006

Movie / Pirates of the Caribbean 2 / The Dream

Johnny Depp stars as Captain Jack Sparrow, a mythical pirate in a changing world, with co-stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and released by Disney. This movie was panned by the critics ("more awful than usual"), yet sold more tickets on its opening weekend than any in history. How can this be?

In my view the film needs to be considered on two levels. While sporting three likeable stars and lavish production, its story line is weak. There are few blatant gaffes, and parts of it are almost coherent, however, alas none of it really makes any sense.

Yet on a different level, it has 2-1/2 hours worth of intensely produced, visually arresting, highly memorable scenes. Thus, even though these do not add up to much, it succeeds handsomely if you regard the whole thing as a DREAM sequence!

You know how in dreams you can have the most vivid, interesting, emotionally involving experiences, none has any real meaning, each is more or less a montage, which flows to the next in a random fashion, and yet the whole experience is quite satisfying at a deep level? Well, that's a pretty fair analogy to this movie.

By invoking an array of mythical creatures and personalities, it sets up the idea that this is another world, and/or an altered state. None of the characters are on drugs, other than rum (except maybe the prophetess), yet the writers and designers might have been.

A highly memorable film. You'll be thinking about it for days, pondering the continuity holes in various places, and trying to figure out what, if anything, was meant by this or that. Proves that the public does not care about plot, but loves a nice, long, vivid dream.

PG. Action-adventure comedy, comic book violence, little or no sex.

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