Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life, Movies, and the Gospel: Pirates of the Carribean

So, raise of hands, who here loves Pirates of the Carribeans?  I mean, you have a coming of age story, an unlikely hero, a romantic love-interest, a cuckoo captain, black magic, aztecs (a long time before the movies anyway), the aztec's gold, and a whole lot of funny moments.  What's not to like?

This is, of course, only about the first movie.  The second movie was a two-and-a-half hour long advertisement for the third movie, and the third movie was a three-hour-long tie-up-the-loose-threads exercise.
So, let's start with Will Turner.  I really think that he's the main character, because he's the one who actually does stuff.  (You know, character progression?  That kind of thing?)

At the start of the first movie, Will is basically a nobody.  He's the under-appreciated apprentice of a drunkard blacksmith.  He knows nothing about who he is, except that he was taught to fight pirates.  Accordingly, he learns to fight pirates, prompting this interchange of dialogue when he meets the pirate Jack Sparrow:
Jack Sparrow: [looking at all the swords] Who makes all these?
Will Turner: I do. And I practice with them three hours a day.
Jack Sparrow: You need to find yourself a girl, mate. Or perhaps the reason you practice three hours a day is that you already found one, and are otherwise incapable of wooing said strumpet. You're not a eunuch are you?
Will Turner: I practice three hours a day, so when I meet a pirate, I can kill it.

Unfortunately, Romantic Interest Elizabeth Swann is kidnapped by pirates, who turn out to be undead, cursed pirates.  With an undead, cursed pirate monkey.
And thus, an unlikely hero in search of his romantic interest accompanies the cuckoo captain to combat the ghastly ghosts.  (Would they be zombies?)  Along the way, Will comes to know who he really is: the son of a pirate.  With that in mind, he really starts to grow.  He returns to combat more pirates, and eventually defeats them.

Now, I'm not suggesting that we should compare Piracy with anything in the Gospel.  Maybe I am.  What I'm talking about is growth.  Let's think about what would have happened had Will just been told he was a regular guy?  I mean, no memory loss, no mysterious past, just a loving adoptive family?  Nothing.

In the same way, were we to just be here on this earth, everything hunky-dory, we would never grow.  We can never underestimate the value of this time here on earth.  We can choose to grow, to learn, and to become more like Jesus Christ.  However, we can also choose to do nothing, become less, and eventually lose all that we have.  It's all up to us.

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