For those of you who weren’t aware, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is actually a sequel to Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice. Keira Knightley plays Elizabeth in both movies and Orlando Bloom makes a significant appearance in this movie – another throwback to Pride and Prejudice, as Wickham has always reminded me of Bloom.
The sole difference between The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pride and Prejudice being, obviously, Johnny Depp – and the zombies.
This was my first time watching The Pirates of the Caribbean. It was pretty much exactly like I thought it would be, but I thought certain elements that stood out to me would be worth mentioning.
1. Will Turner? Seriously?
The movie opens with a young Elizabeth aboard ship, singing a creepy song and imagining pirates lurking around ever corner. She readily admits to her father that she finds this seafaring experience exhilarating. As a young woman, Elizabeth is disconcertingly frank and finds it more stressful to be proposed to by a prominent political man than to fall sixty feet off a cliff into the sea, nearly drown, be rescued by an infamous pirate, and then have him promptly use her as his hostage. All this points to an adventurous nature and utter disregard for convention. So why exactly does Will Turner appeal to her? He is, of course, intensely good-looking, but also completely boring, safe, and totally predictable. Jack Sparrow is clearly the better option.
2. Make Up Your Minds!
Elizabeth gets the ball rolling when she defends Jack and opposes his being hanged because he just saved her life, and yet, even though she has just been made aware that he is a pirate, she acts surprised when he uses her to escape. She can’t seem to decide if she admires and is friends with Jack or despises him with a vengeance. Will follows suit. He and Jack have a half-hour fencing match upon meeting, but Will later springs Jack out of prison and proceeds to be his loyal sidekick – until he knocks Jack unconscious with the oar of their boat and destroys Jack’s carefully laid plans. In the end, Will saves Jack from hanging at the risk of his own life. So overall, it seems like they are good friends, but both Will and Elizabeth can’t seem to trust him. Whenever he does something unexpected – which is kind of a lot – they act like he’s betrayed them. They don’t seem to get that that’s what Jack does.
3. Orlando Bloom
The only other movies I have seen Orlando Bloom in are The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and, quite frankly, his was the worst acting I have ever watched in my life. Somehow Bloom manages to make every word that comes out of his mouth sound at once completely ridiculous and totally unnecessary. He looks feminine because of his skinny build and unflattering wardrobe, but attempts, incongruously, to exude an air of overdone masculinity that fails to be convincing. After his scenes, we are left wondering why exactly his character is in the movie. That said, I did not come away with the same feeling after watching Pirates. While his acting was not outstanding, it didn’t make me want to puke, either. Whether this role was more suited to his abilities or it didn’t really require him to act at all, I am not sure.
4. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is my favorite actor. Though I have not seen even close to all his movies, I have always admired his ability to play the not-quite-sane with easy grace. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he plays the weird and feminine Willy Wonka, who is emotionally unstable and never grew up because of an inability to connect with his overly strict father. In Finding Neverland, my personal favorite, he plays the eccentric and failing playwright J. M. Barrie, who never grew up because of the death of his doted-upon brother and subsequent feelings of being unloved. While it seems like Depp only ever plays weird, messed-up mental cases, he can do serious roles as well as bizarre ones. In Finding Neverland, thought the eccentricity is still present, he also shows a very lonely, sad side as well. In Pirates, obviously, he displays no such seriousness. He obviously has a lot of fun with this unscrupulous , strangely charming Long John Silver-esque character.
Aside from the far-fetched action scenes which include the classic see-saw fun – I go up, you go down, I go down, you go up, we dance around in the rafters – and a fencing scene that was vaguely reminiscent of The Princess Bride – I kept waiting for Jack to admit that he is “not left handed” – and the ever-present pair of bumbling idiots… I enjoyed this light-hearted pirate story.