Hooked On Blackbeard
2 and 1/2 stars
I never did like the story of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up, so I went in hoping Blackbeard would win. They stick to the story, alas, but the colorful spectacle is rather fun. And you will - as I did - fall for the sinister Blackbeard.
Hugh Jackman plays Blackbeard, pirate of the skies, and does so spectacularly. From his costume, his boots and his gold topped ugly teeth. JM Barrie wrote about the boy who did not want to grow up, but something inside me has always hated that. It's an excuse for irresponsibility in real life and rather charmless. Thankfully, in this movie there is less of that entitlement and lots of 'am I really a hero' type questioning.
But am not sure this movie is made for little kids. Even I was alarmed at the pirates bungee jumping and kidnapping the kids. But then, the way some kids are today, a good fear of 'warna Blackbeard utha le jaayega' is necessary.
I've studied in a school run by nuns and they were scary too. Peter lives in an orphanage where the nuns are in cahoots with the pirates and there's a veritable treasure in her room. The pirates bring him to a mountain which is being mined for pixie dust...
But you'll see all that, won't you? Better than the awful fare Bollywood tends to dish up for the weekend. But this week Blackbeard will fight for box office gains with the brilliant Sicario and the vertigo inducing The Walk.
I loved the story arc of Blackbeard. It is perhaps the best part of the movie even though it is called Pan, and offers no room to give us more about why Blackbeard became the way he is, how did he find the rejuventor and so on...
Blackbeard chews up the scenery effortlessly. And what awesome scenery it is! The special effects are really special. I loved the sword fight scenes, the mermaids and was terrified of the creatures in the sea, the stars may not have been as magnificent as in Life of Pi, but made you feel as if you were really in magical skies. The fairy mountain scenes are amazing.
What is predictable is Peter Pan himself. He's fresh-faced all right, but we've seen a cute kid in Bajrangi Bhaijaan too, so he has to work harder to impress the audience. I loved his bird ride and there are a couple of scenes where he learns to stand up and face his fears. But I did want the villain to win...
Watch it for the spectacle, and for Blackbeard who hams it up delighfully. And for the songs that show up unexpectedly and make you clap!