film review

Review | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – 2003

The fifth part of the pirates series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (also known as Salazar’s Revenge) will premiere this month! Time to re-watch the first part, The Curse of the Black Pearl!

Captain Jack Sparrow is looking for a ship, and not just any ship. He wants the fastest ship in the world, which got stolen from Jack and is now led by Captain Barbossa. Barbossa and his crew are cursed and would like to get rid of it. Therefore they are looking for the one thing they steal in the first place, which made them immortal creatures: the gold of Cortes. Due to circumstances, both pirate captains are forced to work together. With the help of William Turner and the governor’s daughter Elizabeth Swann, both Barbossa and Sparrow come closer to their goal.

The first pirate film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, had its premiere in 2003. After the success, four more films would follow. The latest part, Dead Men Tell no Tales, will air this month in cinemas. Gore Verbinski is the film’s director, who also worked on the two sequels with Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom in the lead parts. Besides this movie, Verbinski worked together with Depp in two other film as well: Rango and The Lone Ranger. Looking at the sequels, you can say this pirate franchise is an amazing success, whereof the first three films can be seen as one trilogy. The fourth and fifth part follows the adventure of Johnny Depp’s character: Captain Jack Sparrow. The actor got an Oscar nomination for his part, and the film received nominations in the category music, make-up and visual effects.

In the main roles we see Johnny Depp as pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, who looks fascinating with his hair, makeup and actually his whole style. Walking as if he’s always drunk from his beloved rum, he tries to find his ship. Fortunately for him, The Black Pearl finds him. When Jack reaches an island colonized by the British, he finds himself in prison soon after an impending pursuit:

“This is the day you almost captured Captain Jack Sparrow.”

Elizabeth Swann, the governor’s daughter, lives on this same island. Years ago she rescued William Turner from the water. Elizabeth stole his pirate necklace, which is the reason she got kidnapped by an army of pirates led by Captain Barbossa. Barbossa is excellently played by Geoffrey Rush, who we will meet in the sequels as well. Orlando Bloom plays the part of Will Turner, who is secretly in love with Elizabeth and therefore will do anything to save her. Even if that means he has to work with a pirate. But wait, is Will secretly not a pirate as well?

The two put a crew together and steal another imposing ship, in a very impressive way. The adventurious fantasy film is sometime even funny at times. Especially the pirate duo Pintel (Lee Arenberg) and Ragetti (MacKenzie Crook) makes you laugh more than once. In addition to the adventurous aspect of the movie, Will’s adventure is also a quest to find out his true identity. In addition, it is also a search for love for him. Not for Jack Sparrow, who only loves his rum and his boat. The film is one big fantasy movie about undead pirates who want to be alive again because:

“For too long I’ve been parched of thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I’ve been starving to death and haven’t died. I feel nothing. Not the wind on my face nor the spray of the sea. Nor the warmth of a woman’s flesh.”

It is no wonder that the film was nominated in the visual effects category, as the pirates look very good – almost terrifying – in their undead version. Not to mention the monkey Jack. The entire setting and the background are astonishing as well, since the film is recorded on various beautiful locations like the Dominican Republic. 

Regarding the film’s soundtrack I can not say anything negative about it. Klaus Badelt has composed a very strong soundtrack in collaboration with Hans Zimmer, which is a very popular theme in the world of film music. It is therefore very nice that this soundtrack is also heard in the sequels. Whether the music is to be heard in the upcoming film is for anyone to find out when the film comes to cinemas on May 24th. For now, lets re-watch the old ones!

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