Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jack Sparrow on a train

Film: The Lone Ranger

Director: Gore Verbinski

The classic Western has been a dominant genre in Hollywood for generations and its impact on Hindi films too has left quite a mark (read Sholay). However, in an age of superheroes, vampires and sorcerers, a man on a horse all-guns-ablazing seems like a thing of the past. To add to it, Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp both make The Lone Ranger look like Cap'n Jack Sparrow's adventures in the wild wild West.

The film is a thrilling adventure of a masked hero, who returns from the dead and saves the world with his partner, a misunderstood Native American with a dead raven on his head. Armie Hammer plays John Reid, a lawyer who returns home to find a lawless place. The film shows his journey of disillusionment from being a law abiding citizen to becoming an outlaw vigilante. And to be quite frank, if you watch it with your mind wide open, you might even see the point. But it is not worth it.

The film's moments come from an expected source -- Johnny Depp, who plays Tonto. His quirks remind you of Jack Sparrow on several occasions, and some of his lines, like "There is imbalance in the nature" and "There's something seriously wrong with that horse" will go down in the memory of his fans, just like "Why's the rum always gone?"

He also personifies the philosophy of the film, for instance, his reply to "Why would anyone trade a watch for grains and seeds?" - "Birds can't tell time." Verbinski has tried to take the classical conflict of the Western where the railway (an agent of progess) brings with it a lot of vice and greed and distances human beings from nature. However, the message is lost in the antics and unnecessary stunts, which are fun while they last.

But as a whole, the film falters time and again to eventually go down as a disappointing adventure. And apart from a message which was received by the audience after the first few movies were shot in the Texas desert. Depp and hammer themselves didn't want to be recognised in the film, probably, which would explain the mask and the heavy makeup. If you want to watch this film, it is advisable to do the same.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Published in DNA (Pune) on July 6, 2013

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