Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Fate of Elisabeth and Will Turner

*Warning - Total SPOILER ALERT*

So I finally watched the conclusion of the Pirates of the Caribbean series and I was stunned by the finale. Will gets to be an immortal Dutchman captain and can only set foot on land every ten years for a day, while Elisabeth has to stay behind. Yes, I know it's just a movie, but this upset me a bit. Clearly Elisabeth plans to 'stay true' to her love, which means that she will spend her life aging alone, will get a shag once every ten years, maybe for the first several decades, at which point she will become old and saggy and Will will show up looking as fresh and lovely as only an immortal can to find his wife first aging and eventually dead. My thought was that he should have 'set her free', but in the absence of that maybe she would get lucky enough to get pregnant from their first encounter, which would at least occupy her time while she waits.

Imagine my surprise when after a wikipedia search I discovered that there was a hidden scene at the end of a mile of credits that would 'clarify Will and Elisabeth's future'. I raced home, begged my DVD player to work just one more time (it's on the fritz) and watched this little 30 second gem. It showed 10 year old Will Turner the Third and his mom watching the Green Flash and their beloved father/husband at the helm of the Dutchman coming ashore. To use Jack Sparrow's words, this was "maddingly unhelpful".

It turns out that what writers Ted Elliott and Terry Russio meant was that because Elisabeth's love had remained true, Will was now free of his spell. The Green Flash then, signifies the release of his soul from the dead. Did you catch that? I certainly didn't. Nevertheless I am pleased. Elisabeth may be a flirtatious, indecisive rebel but they are sweet together.


maeverin said...

ok, i haven't seen this movie yet and don't know when i'm going to get the chance--but you mention the Green Flash in capitals, implying this is a name for something--is that accurate?

and really, if there is a clause like "you only need to be true for the next 10 years" then they should word it like that. as it stands the way you mentioned it, she should have to be true for the rest of her life and THEN he is free.
sacrificing life and love for the life of your love--
that's how i would have written it.

Paulina said...

The green flash is actually a natural phenomenon that happens whenever the sun sets but can only really be viewed over vast expenses like the ocean. For a split second the light appears green, due to the refraction of the light as the sun moves below the horizon and the air bends light beam.
And I believe what you suggest, with her having to sacrifice her life for her love is how the original Flying Dutchman opera was written.

Liza said...

I still think that they should have made it more clear that he was free because I don't think they say that anywhere in the movie. Though it makes me a lot happier now that I know that... or maybe they just changed that at the very end because so many people were upset by it. So they said.. Oh yes this was the plan all along..