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As the eagerly anticipated Hollywood summer releases make their way to our newly-revived cinema halls, one can find a plethora of alternate realities that at times serve not only as temporary relief from the arduous and chaotic nature of our daily lives, but also as glimpses into a better world.

Be it a world where humanity has evolved by leaps and bounds, or a world that now seems long gone, these brilliant works of art never cease to captivate and inspire.

In staying true to its form in every way, the latest instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean saga once again takes us to a time when adventure and opportunity coexisted as two sides of a coin. Replete with the production design trappings and script that bring this now lost time into full projection, the film never ceases to excite and entrap the audience in both its visually appealing action sequences, its larger-than-life plot and, of course, the quirky mannerisms and chaotic genius of Captain Jack Sparrow.

In recent times, perhaps no other fictional character has created an image as unique and multi-faceted as the sometimes cowardly, sometimes treacherous, but always forward thinking pirate who somehow manages to pull out a theatrical trump card whenever it matters most.

Furthermore, the palpable and unrelenting tyranny of the Pirate Blackbeard make this exploit of Captain Jack perhaps the most daunting and threatening as compared to his trials in the previous films. However, the definitive carefree persona and humour of Captain Jack remain unhinged throughout the film, undoubtedly serving as attributes to the genius of this enigmatic character. His tactics in surviving at every turn serve no doubt to further solidify the legend and infamy of arguably one of the greatest pirates ever portrayed.

Behind the fantasy, the talent of Johnny Depp in keeping his character true to form across a decade, and still inspiring the awe and wonder of audiences must be appreciated. One can only take so much of an irritating character, but Depp in his versatility and his ‘savvy’ charm manages to enthral and inspire the audience throughout the film.

The same can be said of all the other cast members in the movie, who fit in nicely to their roles in most respects; but let’s face it, the franchise is founded on Captain Jack, all others remain players to their parts.

On a plot and visual level, On Stranger Tides definitely does not disappoint. The production and direction acumen of Jerry Bruckheimer and Rob Marshall merges together in cinematic brilliance to deliver larger than life action sequences, breath taking scenery, and an attention to detail that transports the audience into a wondrous world. With previous forays into the legendary world and mythology of the Seven Seas, the introduction of Mermaids and the ever illusive Fountain of Youth has been a welcome addition to a world already full of fantasy and intrigue.

What remains to be seen, and one can surmise from the way the movie ends, is where the next adventure lies. In a nation filled with negativity and mediocrity at every turn, Pirates of the Caribbean allows us a glimpse into a world in which mediocrity was something not aspired to – only greatness, and where even pirates had the honesty to proudly admit their nature without hypocrisy. If one hasn’t done so, this is an adventure not to be missed.— Muhammad Ali Noor