Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Directed by: Gore Verbinski | 143 minutes | action, comedy, adventure, fantasy | Actors: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Pryce, Jack Davenport, Lee Arenberg, Mackenzie Crook, Damian O’Hare, Giles New, Angus Barnett, David Bailie, Michael Berry Jr., Isaac C. Singleton Jr ., Kevin McNally

After directors like Renny Harlin and even Steven Spielberg tried to revive the old pirate movies of the first half of the last century with movies like ‘Cutthroat Island’ and ‘Hook’, Gore Verbinski has in every case in America achieved a great success with this pirate film. The chance that he will succeed in the rest of the world is very high. All elements of a pirate movie are present: action, romance, a talking parrot, a tropical island, a hidden treasure and instead of flooding the viewer with these clichés, things are neatly incorporated into the story. The story of the film does not really matter, it is already clear from the beginning of the film that we should not take this film too seriously. The fierce-looking pirate, who proudly looks out from the highest point of the mast of his gigantic ship, turns out moments later on a mere pitiful boat, which is already half submerged. Just before the wreck sinks, the pirate steps onto the dock, as if he does nothing different every day.

The biggest asset that Gore Verbinski plays in this film is the role of the always great Johnny Depp. In his completely idiosyncratic way, he portrays Captain Jack Sparrow, who is always on the verge of drunkenness, a pirate in the truest sense of the word. He’s cheeky, funny, and outsmarts everyone. Well, everyone…. He ends up in prison quite early in the film, but in a short time has made such an impression on Will Turner, played by the British Orlando “Legolas” Bloom, that he frees him to kill the pirate-abducted daughter of rescue the governor, Elizabeth Swann. The reason Jack Sparrow agrees is purely self-interest, Elizabeth’s kidnappers are none other than the pirates of the ship The Black Pearl, a kind of legend that turns out to be real. The crew of this ship is led by the evil pirate Barbossa, who is the very man who robbed Jack Sparrow of his ship. Johnny Depp really masters his role. He is incredibly funny because of his way of talking and his movements, which are inspired by Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards. He is almost unrecognizable with his eye make-up, pigtails in his beard, ornaments in his haircut and large mustache, but anyone else in the role of Jack Sparrow is unimaginable. Without Johnny Depp, this film would end up in the same regions as the aforementioned flops.

The rest of the cast is also not to be sneezed at, they are at most slightly less eccentric. Geoffrey Rush as the thoroughly evil pirate Barbossa is almost on par with Depp, he is, in a quote from the movie “so bad even hell spat him back”, yet you can’t really dislike him. Orlando Bloom plays the polar opposite of Johnny Depp’s character, a pirate son, rescued from pirates at a young age by the attentiveness of his unattainable love Elizabeth. He tries to be a good citizen and is therefore less funny than the rest, but shows in this film that he certainly has more to offer than just being a teen idol. Only eighteen-year-old Keira Kneightly, whose biggest role to date was that of Juliette Paxton in ‘Bend It Like Beckham’, will certainly break through with the general public with this film. As it should be, in this film full of men, she clearly stands her ground and fights just as hard as the rest against the pirates. Writers Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio wrote not only the script of the highly successful animated film ‘Shrek’, but also those of the animated films ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘Sinbad’, so they were more or less familiar with the genre. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is known for his action films like ‘The Rock’, ‘Con Air’ and ‘Enemy of the State’, and again makes this film a feast for the eyes. The film may be slightly based on a Disneyland attraction (where boats sail slowly past all kinds of pirate scenes), a visit to this film is a thousand times more bang for your buck than a visit to any theme park!

Comments are closed.