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'Pirates' provides welcome escape, plenty of pageantry

Sept. 4, 2003

By Hannah

Lodwick, columnist

I saw only two movies in the theater this summer, the second one just a few days ago. After that kind of deprivation, I guess you could pretty much assume I'd love anything with surround sound and a halfway decent plot.

You're right. But even though Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl had a relatively simple plot, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. There's something about swash-buckling pirates and adventures on the high seas, not to mention Johnny Depp's eye shadow, that appealed to me.

For those who have not yet seen the film, the plot centers around pirates on a ghost ship called the Black Pearl, a vessel manned by sailors doomed to live until they find certain stolen Aztec coins.

Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) set out looking for the ship after the ghosts abduct Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly and Turner's love interest), whose blood they thought would undo the curse.

From that point on, we get a healthy dose of sword fights and swaggering.

As for its actual storyline, the movie's pageantry distracted me enough to not care about pesky details in the plot.

Critics say the idea of sailors fighting to kill the living dead defies logic, but close observation reveals that the hapless sailors and village people never initiated battle, they only defended themselves when attacked.

No one can deny it makes perfect sense to fight against someone attacking you, even if you can't eventually kill them. At any rate, the living dead scheme made for creative fights.

Although I can think of at least one problem in the plot (why didn't Elizabeth come under the curse when she took the coin from Will?), the film included all the staples of a respectable pirate tale: buried treasure, a mutiny, walks down the plank and a pet monkey.

I spent several hours after the movie thinking about its smart script and engrossing action scenes.

Much of the action in this movie revolved around Depp's Sparrow, whose wit and sporadic behavior outshone everyone else. Roger Ebert said Depp 'seems to be channeling a drunken drag queen' for this performance. I just wish I could have hair like his.

Speaking of hair, I must say I prefer Bloom's platinum locks and Elvin bow (as seen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) to his sparse beard and pilgrim-esque hair.

I know probably every girl at Baylor loved young Turner, but in this movie, Depp simply outshone him in every category.

Now if I could only get the name of Depp's hair stylist.