Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)
07 August 2003
moderate horror and action violence
pictures are poison. Yellowbeard, Pirates, CutThroat Island
- all sank to the bottom of the box office, weighed down with
in Gore Verbinski's workmanlike reputation and a theme park ride
for source material and Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of
The Black Pearl (deep breath) looks as attractive as the
brace the mainsail and shiver those timbers, etc, for this is
a superb swashbuckler - rousing, funny and spectacular.
is either madness or brilliance," says Will Turner
(Orlando Bloom), as he and Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp)
attempt to steal a ship and rescue the governor's daughter (Keira
Knightley). The statement could easily be ascribed to Depp's
eccentric, ecstatic performance, and as the singular skipper
replies, "It's remarkable how often those two traits
simply steals the show, lock, stock and two floating barrels.
Foppish, fey and hilarious, Sparrow is a brilliant creation - a
self-publicising rogue with the élan of Douglas Fairbanks and
the demeanour of an acid casualty.
with his scene-snaffling, the others do well to register. Bloom
has a Flynn-ish quality (if a touch goodie goodie) as
Knightley's squeeze, while the young British actress (Bend
It Like Beckham) appears effortlessly charismatic.
less photogenic, Geoffrey Rush is no less impressive as the
villainous Captain Barbossa, questing to lift the curse on the
crew of the notorious Black Pearl.
dialogue is gloriously grandiose ("Compelled by greed
we were and now we are consumed by it!"), but always
underscored by the wit you'd expect from the writers of Shrek
Mask Of Zorro.
latter is a stylistic touchstone for this story of seabound
skulduggery - which matches its playful tone, splendid
swordfights and cheerful disposability. And while Pirates
may be as overlong as its franchise-minded title, the characters
are so engaging, the action so entertaining, you won't really
care. Yo ho ho, indeed.
Depp has come a long way from 21 Jump Street - the US TV show
which lumbered him with teen idol status. Since then he's
worked with director Tim Burton on numerous occasions - their
most recent collaboration being "Sleepy
Hollow". Depp has also worked with oddball helmer
Terry Gilliam for "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas",
and famously dragged it up for "Ed
Wood". It's all helped mould his quirky persona, as
well as earning him a reputation as one of America's finest
young character actors. While still demonstrating that offbeat
air, swashbuckling adventure "Pirates of the
Caribbean" is perhaps his most 'mainstream' film to date.
based your character on Rolling Stone Keith Richards. Why's
thought of Keith because he's a guy I've admired for many,
many years. I didn't want to do an imitation of Keith, or a
character study, just a kind of salute to him, you know, to
show him I appreciate him. I was thinking about the pirates of
the 18th century, about how they were the rocks stars of their
day. So I thought: Who's the greatest rock and roll star who
ever lived? And to me, it's Keith Richards hands down. Keith
is a bit of a pirate himself!
was it like to have Geoffrey Rush play your nemesis?
was great fun. It's always a worry when you go into a film and
you don't know someone. You worry that he won't have a sense
of humour, that he'll be really intense about his work. But
Geoffrey's nuts! He has a great sense of humour.
obviously a lot of swordplay in the movie. How tough was that
was very intense, actually. Probably the most intense part of
pre-production and the production itself was the sword
fighting. We had these fantastic sword masters who took us
through our moves and forced us to work. Which was a good
thing, because losing a finger or losing an eye was always a
about the gold teeth? You've still got them...
there's a little gold and a little platinum. It didn't go over
very well with the Disney executives actually. Initially, they
were a little freaked out about it.