Monday, July 31, 2006

Are We Born Pirates or Do We Become Pirates?

When it comes to the spirituality and philiosophy, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest seems to ask one major question (which the fact that it ask one question at all is fairly impressive since I don't think too highly of Jerry Bruckheimer films)

But the question that it asks is are we by nature pirates.

Or rather, are we good people who do bad things or bad people are capable of doing good. This question is definitly pondered in the Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) characters.

Although the film ponders the idea, by the end it doesn't seem to offer any resolve to this thought, but allows for the possibility of both.

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Jim Jannotti said...

I was born a Pirate Who Doesn't Do Anything... but deliver mail.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of people can call themselves pirates.

Terence Towles Canote said...

I think this question lies at the heart of both Pirates... movies. Indeed, in the first one Jack insists that Bootstrap was a pirate AND a good man. Of course, we might not want to take Jack's word on it. My thought is that there have always been good people who out of circumstances have wound up doing bad things. And there have always been bad people who have found it in themselves to do some good. Quite simply, I'm not sure that anyone is purely good or bad. We have the capacity for both in all of us.

Paula said...

Well, we are fallen creatures made in the image of God. There must be residue of both, yes?

As far as the film offering any resolve to this thought...IT DOESN'T OFFER RESOLVE ABOUT ANYTHING!!! Holy Leave Me Hanging, Batman! Remember when "The Empire Strikes Back" first ended, the first time you watched Han Solo trapped in that gak? I felt like camping out in the theatre, it wasn't fair. This ending was just as bad, if not worse. LOL!

MCF said...

I happen to love the Empire Strikes Back-esque ending. Movies simply don't DO cliffhangars anymore. It's a classic device harkening back to when theaters were the main source of entertainment and news. Come back next week and see if the damsel is untied from the train tracks. Come back next week and see what happens to the guy literally hanging from a cliff.

I do think Pirates did a great job of exploring the duality of all the characters. Sparrow has that moment to be something better instead of being selfish, and despite early protests to the contrary, he embraces it. Elizabeth on the other hand, finds something truly dark within herself and acts on it, clearly regretting her horrible act later.
I think the message of the film then is that we are all of us inherently capable of BOTH good and evil, and must choose. And seriously, a message in a Bruckheimer movie? What's the world coming to? :) The ending left me wanting more; I can't wait for the next one.

Sher said...

I think where this goes wrong is that in the movie, the definition of good and evil is based upon the acts of the person. Yes, we are all fallen men and born sinful, lost wretches. We commit sins (bad acts), but even Christians do that.

Whenever a person is called good, my mind immediatly is drawn back to the story of the "Rich Young Ruler" in the gospels. Here the man is asking what good deed he can do to gain eternal life. Jesus answers with "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." Only God is technically "GOOD." Only God is sinless.

Now, I know that we define people as good and bad here on earth. A school teacher who raises her family in church would be considered "good" as compared to a convicted killer who we would call "bad." But those are terms used with our very limited knowledge of what good and bad really mean.

Jack Sparrow, to most, would be considered a bad man. He's a pirate, a thief, a scandrol. But even a pirate is capable of good deeds. And Elizabeth, as sweet and proper as she seems to be to most, would be considered good. But, as we know, she is capable of bad deeds.

What we need to be very careful of is defining people by their deeds or acts. God looks at the heart, and not act. If he looked at the act, we would all be condemmed (because we all sin). (This is all explored in Romans 3 in the Bible.)

But back on topic...Yes, i believe we are all born "pirates" if you want to say a pirate is someone who is inheriatly bad, but also capable of doing good. Every person on earth, no matter the status of their heart, is capable of doing a good deed. Many choose not too, but they can. But what we need to do is try and define people by their hearts, and not necessarily their acts.

Todd M said...

Very well stated, Sheri Ann!

Pat said...

I admire you guys for reading so heavily into such a sloppily-made, ill-conceived, and boring film.

JW said...

The film might have been better if they had cut out the first 45 minutes of the completely unnecessary and unrelated to the rest of the film Captain Jack Sparrow Short.