It snowed most of the day today (!) which kept me still in the cabin—here in Winter Park, Colorado—with time for my pen to catch up to some of my thoughts. Always high on the list, pirates.
The thing I liked most about Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is that the characters are true. Not true to their word or true to themselves, but true to who they are.
They are so true to who they are that they can be counted on by others, whether they be faithful sons, ambitious queens, heartsick lovers, tempestuous goddesses, tea-sipping/sea-tipping politicians, or scalawags.
They are true to who they are. They have this quality of being to them, which reminds me of God, who reveals himself primarily as “I am”.
George McDonald wrote, “There is endless room for rebellion against ourselves.” And how often do I see those little rebellions. You can usually tell when people aren’t being themselves. They explain themselves a lot. Or they pull all kinds of stunts. Or they sweat profusely. All the time. It’s very tiring not to be yourself. And rebellions are always costly.
The best line in the movie about this was when Davy Jones expressed his anger and hurt to his lover, who wasn’t there for him after waiting 10 years at her bidding. She offered no explanation. She said that’s who she is, and asks, “Would you love me if I were anything but what I am?” But who is prepared for a lover who will be who she will be, even if she is, as theologian Walter Bruggeman describes God, “wild, unfettered, dangerous, and free”?
One thing hard to swallow in PC3 is the scale—both of the pace and the action—from the flawless swordplay by the heroes and heroine to Jack’s acrobatics to the fantastic twists and turns in the plot. It’s all quite incredible. But when you have characters that are so bold, strong, unbalanced, and true, each playing their own hand, what do you expect?
I wonder what would happen in this story outside the movies if a handful of unbalanced and true people, whose lives intertwine, lived truly. It might be amazing and incredible, even miraculous.
And on a slightly sidish note, I was reading this morning from The Dangerous Book for Boys about the “golden age of piracy”. Iggulden says the most astonishing thing is that many pirates were given pardons in exchange for military aid or a cut of the loot. My have governments changed today! Yeh right. One famous pirate was even knighted, and made governor of Jamaica. But even if there were no scheming, thousand-faced, gutless politicians, it is still difficult to judge something like piracy according to the mores of one’s own comfy couch. If the world didn't need pirates, they probably wouldn't exist.