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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Pirates of the Caribbean:
On Stranger Tides


By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

In this fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, Captain Jack Sparrow is once again trying to escape from the British – this time causing pirate-style chaos right in the center London. He carriage-surfs, much to the delight of the audience. He must discover who is impersonating him and how to find a ship, since the Black Pearl has been sunk, while checking in with his dad (Keith Richards) before shoving off.

This time, it is imperative that he beat the Spaniards and his pirate nemesis Barbarossa (Geoffrey Rush), who has a legitimate commission from King George to find the fountain of youth, before anyone else.

Sparrow ends up on the ship run by the pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his supposed daughter, Anjelica (Penelope Cruz). Sparrow and Anjelica know one another and they spend the film sparring with one another as much as everyone else.

The film actually addresses themes of religion, superstition, fantasy, redemption through mankind’s endless search for eternal youth so as to avoid death. There’s commentary on clerical missionaries and celibacy, but I am not sure how serious this is meant to be. The voodoo doll, that everyone knows is superstition, calls for some conversation between parents and children, just to make sure they understand it as a comic device rather than a supernatural way to control people.

Any other film might get bogged down in details or a message, but “On Stranger Tides” keeps tying the themes up with weaving rope and sails – literally. The scenic effects, special effects, and art direction express the complex craft of making a highly entertaining multimillion dollar film that keeps our attention from the opening scene.
There are not many female characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and it is interesting to analyze their roles in the stories. This is why you must stay with this film until the last credit rolls, or you might get the wrong idea about who really wins the day.


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Thomas the Apostle: Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and My God!” (see John 20:24-28) and, in so expressing his faith, gave Christians a prayer that will be said till the end of time. He also occasioned a compliment from Jesus to all later Christians: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29). 
<p>Thomas should be equally well known for his courage. Perhaps what he said was impetuous—since he ran, like the rest, at the showdown—but he can scarcely have been insincere when he expressed his willingness to die with Jesus. The occasion was when Jesus proposed to go to Bethany after Lazarus had died. Since Bethany was near Jerusalem, this meant walking into the very midst of his enemies and to almost certain death. Realizing this, Thomas said to the other apostles, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b).</p> American Catholic Blog Slow down as you make the Sign of the Cross. Intentionally purify your mind and your heart, and ask God to strengthen you to carry his love to the world.

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