The story continues from my last post. After treating myself to a glorious green-tight version of Robin Hood, I sat down, all ready to enjoy “Pirates of the Caribbean.” I remembered that it was a huge box-office hit, and seemed to run for years, and so I was sure I couldn’t go wrong here.
Instead, I was mystified to find that I didn’t understand large swathes of the movie. The story seemed to start somewhere in the middle, and new characters popped up all over the place with no explanation. While I had no idea how these people were and how they were all related, everyone else in the movie seemed to welcome them like long-lost friends.
The only other time this sort of thing happens is if the movie is an adaptation of a book. Usually, in such cases, I would have read the book, and would be loudly protesting that key scenes have been removed. The LOTR DVD set has been lying around for years now, and the only time I watched Part 1, I was indignant at all the scenes that were never shot.
But back to Pirates. The story seemed to move ahead in Brownian motion, and soon we found ourselves combating randomness with randomness. We started watching it in fast forward-pause-watch-fast forward mode. This seemed to work very well.
Until they introduced a guy with kohl rimmed eyes and dreadlocks who seemed to be talking to twenty versions of himself.
“This is Capt. Jack Sparrow”, I said confidently, with the air of an expert. I had, you see, read the back of the DVD cover.
Capt. Jack Sparrow is a fascinating character, as you’ll agree (since I’m sure you’ve all watched Pirates long ago). I could see that he had a lot of time at sea to do his eye make-up. He also had a lot of time to launder his shirts, which is how his shirts were such a pristine white. Unfortunately, his razors, if he owned any, must have all rusted at sea, which is why he had that unkempt goatee.
The movie did have a very nice ending which would have made any Bollywood movie proud. Sunsets were involved, and so were reunions with family, there were magical special effects and even sepia tones. The kind of perfect ending that would be a sequel writer’s nightmare.
But the rest of the movie seemed like a whodunit where you try to figure out where the story is buried.
I was very puzzled that this movie became such a hit. Why did it run for so long? What was I missing?
So I went off to read the New York Times review of the movie, and the reader reviews.
Okay, you can all stop laughing now. How was I to know?
So I went back to take a really close look at the DVD cover. Sure enough, there it was, again in very small letters. “At World’s End”.
I hadn’t seen those letters before, a fact that will not surprise you anymore. But even if I had, I doubt it would have meant anything to me at that time.
But now I knew. Not only were there three Pirates movies, but I had somehow managed to borrow the last one. Not only was this the last, but according to reviews, easily the worst.
Anyway, now I know the story ends. Sometime in the future, when I go to the library, I hope to find out how it all began.
But from now onwards, I know that a library card alone is not enough to borrow DVDs. I need to arm myself with a magnifying lens.