I saw ‘Pirates’ 4 today — matters of redemption, forgiveness, faith, and compassion


Jerry Bruckheimer; Rob Marshall; Penelope Cruz...

Image by insidethemagic via Flickr

Today I took Maggie (11) and Audrey (9) to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

I would say the Stranger part comes from Keith Richards‘ cameo appearance, but he wasn’t on screen that long.

The writers and director pushed the topics of redemption, compassion, and forgiveness into the film, which also showed characters acting on convictions based in faith. (A slightly developed historical backdrop are Roman Catholic-Protestant conflicts.)

The writers and director seemed to invite us to speculate as to whether even the worst sort of person (Black Beard, in this case) is beyond hope of redemption.

Compassion, conviction, redemption and forgiveness were constantly emerging in the scenes and the dialog.

How authentically and genuinely these topics were addressed, and how well the scenes worked, is another matter.

On the one hand, I’m inclined to leave that to your judgment and the judgment of critics.

On the other hand, I’ll say this much: While the entire film revolved around those topics, I cannot quite bring myself to say they were themes — at least not fully developed or fully followed themes.

But wow — a lot of fun.

As for taking an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old to see this PG-13 film, well, I was more uncomfortable with the topics in some of the preview trailers than I was with anything in the movie itself.

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