Once upon a time, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead man’s chest was the third highest grossing film of all time. Until the multiplexes came up with the hike in ticket prices. After that, it is possible for almost every major film to gross over a billion dollars at box office. In this film’s case, due to the popularity, enjoyable comedy and stunning effects, the odds were in its favour.
Save your health Jack!
Johnny Depp is back as the rogue and charming pirate. But this time he is in a setback. He fears something, a creature that sucks all ships and Davy Jones, a sea pirate to whom he owes a massive debt to. Teaming with Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann who are under the scrutiny and arrest of Lord Beckett, the trio sets out to find the chest with Davy’s Jones’s heart locked in it, which if destroyed could kill Davy Jones.
One of the best assets of POTC series apart from Jack Sparrow’s wits, visual effects and art direction are definitely the humor.
Dead man’s chest is way on top with the humor based on situations and dialogue oriented moments. We have Kevin R McNally’s narration of horror stories with his “explosive” British accent. The Cannibal Island sequences are extremely funny and the trio fight where Elizabeth shouts at them exasperated.
Johnny Depp has made the film fun ride with his easy going wits and smartness. Although there was one moment of Jack’s that I despised when he escapes from the Black Pearl when it was attacked by the Kraken. Kraken’s appearance in this film, has it as the most terrifying antagonist as it mercilessly attacks every ship it targets. Jack’s intention to kill the Kraken once he seizes the dead man’s chest is justified. The movie ranges from Will trying to save Elizabeth to Elizabeth trying to save Will. That the base theme of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, unintentionally. Despite having a rigid face and overacting during intense scenes, I enjoyed watching Orlando Bloom in this movie. The scene where he sees Jack in the Cannibal Island is well directed and another favorite moment is when he confronts Jack after escaping from Davy Jones’s locker. Bloom is not at the top of his game in any way, apart from his good looks and action, but he definitely tried to stay at par with Depp and the rest of the cast. Only tried. Keira Knightley’s comic acting deserves champagne though the pouty-lipped angry look she gave when she came face to face with Beckett is distasteful. Seemingly she tried to look extra tough in that scene. What’s the whole idea of recommending actors to puff up their faces while they are trying to act tough?
The movie, as always, is stolen by Depp where he makes simple dialogues or those lines which mediocre otherwise, sound cool.
The chemistry between Depp and Knightley worked in this film, making the kissing scene look chilling. The scene, is, of course, recommended by Knightley as a fan girl of Depp’s. Depp was initially awkward as she was over 20 years younger than him (but he married a woman 23 years younger 9 after this film, bah!). As much as the kissing scene worked in terms of scene’s intensity, now when I think about it, it was unnecessary. It made Jack more of a flirt and Elizabeth, being the pro-feminist image of the first three films, became gray. She is the only good or noble character who is straight forward and knows what she wants. But this lust element distorted this image and seemingly several things were happening in this film. And, Elizabeth is vilified at the end of dead man’s chest. Did it have to be like that? Without giving much away, I would have preferred if Jack simply chose to stay on board rather than Elizabeth’s betrayal. It would give extra leverage to his character and the crew’s decision to go at world’s end to save him will be based more on loyalty than their own personal interests. Even pirates will break the code. Plus, Jack’s silence in that situation made the whole scenario more heartbreaking. If that was the result the director wanted to provide then it worked otherwise it changed the pacing of the whole story.
Jack Davenport and Stellan Skarsgard were in their top game. The scene where Bootstrap Bill tearfully whips his son under the orders of Davy Jones is well directed and performed. Davy Jones’s theme will give you chills. Visual effects are where the film deserves its crown along with Hans Zimmer’s background score. The motion capture of Davy ones is incredible with precision given to the moment of each of his tentacles. One of my favorite moments of the whole series is when Flying Dutchman jumps out of the sea and stands erect on water.
It is an artistic and elegant moment. The sound effects, cinematography, and editing were excellent and top class. Dead man’s chest is definitely the favourite addition in terms of visual effects and on-screen humor. And, the overall effect works only if you watch at world’s end immediately.