As I went to the cinema on Wednesday to see the last Pirate of Caribbean, I thought it could be interesting to start a series of review of films I’ve seen and books I’ve read. I hope you will find it interesting and please, the discussion is open and I would like to know what you think about the reviewed items.
Let’s start from what I found amazing, the soundtrack. Even though it’s no more a Hans Zimmer masterpiece, it was enthralling, when you get down deep into melody. Alongside them are the special effects also accurate and fluid. Close-ups on the main characters and panoramic images are well done, clear and sharp. I also found the resumption of the Will-Elisabeth romance as a very good choice; after the third film we were all asking ourselves how it would have continued. Their story was portrayed as pure and intense as it was in the first movie, two souls struggling to be together, fighting against fate and friends-enemies. Let’s say that seeing Will and Elizabeth kissing in the closing scene warms up the heart and stills our curiosity. The sweet hug in the night between them is the icing on the cake, even though I don’t get why Davy Jones turned up in Will Turner’s bad dreams. Another character who was portrayed brilliantly is Salazar. A part from the acting ability of Javier Bardem, Salazar is a complex and deep character, who apparently isn’t just seeking revenge against Jack Sparrow but also connects the story to the very beginning of the Pirate of the Caribbean’s saga, when a young and still naïf Jack Sparrow more or less intentionally sends him to hell (even though we don’t get the details about Salazar’s transformation into a ghost, we may assume that he entered hell and got back as a sort of devilish creature). Salazar was himself a ruthless pirates-chasing figure before his transformation and this makes him even more interesting than the previous villains, with the sole exemption of Lord Beckett. Last but not least let us argue in favour of Jack Sparrow, who despite his and Johnny Depp’s no longer young age remains the funny but smart profiteer who makes the audience laugh from his first appearance to the last one. Still, without Jack Sparrow, there wouldn’t be a reason to film on the Caribbean again.
And now let’s get through all what I honestly found not as good as it could have been.
First of all: Why did Barbossa die? And why that way? He survived Jack Sparrows bullet in the first movie and now he died to save his newly found daughter, whom he abandoned twenty years earlier. Let me just say, you don’t simply abandon your child if you have deep feelings for him or her. No matter what, you keep him or her by your side, pirate or not. Most importantly: Why does Barbossa have a daughter at all? Pirates do have children but was it really necessary that a figure like Barbossa had a daughter who is also suspected to be a witch, even though we don’t really understand how they found out that she is an astronomer. Still we find it out about Barbossa’s fatherhood in a period of five minutes with no flashbacks or hints about the time he had a daughter. Also her love story with Will and Elizabeth’s son was not necessary for the overall development of the plot. The story is actually about Henry Turner struggling to free his father from the curse of the Flying Dutchman, not to find a girlfriend in about a week.
Will Turner. It seems to be a label of the Flying Dutchman’s captain to let shellfishes and pimples grow on his shoulders and face. First of all, we don’t know how he started his transformation into a lost captain and mostly it doesn’t make sense, since Elizabeth Swann isn’t apparently a fickle sea goddess who could dump him anytime to go for other pirates. At all. Moreover, why is her hair brown in a time when you couldn’t dye your hair? And what about that dress? Definitely not her style as we know it from the previous films. Also, why does she look as young as she did in the first three chapters even though twenty years have passed since her husband became a dead-non-dead captain?
Another big question that comes to my mind is about Henry Turner himself: How does he find his father in the first scene of the movie? He is a child, however smart, but still a young kid looking for his father in the middle of the sea, wrapping a stone around his ankle and diving deep down in pirate infested waters. And he still manages to find Will Turner and the Flying Dutchman, yes, the most unfindable ship in movie history. This constitutes a big hole in the plot in my opinion, also because it happens right in the first scene, which should give us a little bit of a background to understand what will come next.
And the witch Shansa. A part from the brilliant acting skills of Golshifteh Farahani, where does she come from at all? And how was she saved by Barbossa? Moreover, I didn’t get how she could manage to have a fruitful relationship with British officials who are trying to kill Carina for she “is a witch”, in their opinion, but they don’t even try to lock the real dangerous witch in the dungeons. I can only assume that she has something they need, but what is it? Another big hole.
All in all the movie is nice but I found the plot was not as well written as it was in the first three films. The holes in the plot aren’t that big, apparently, but a real fan of the Pirates’ saga would notice them. Still, Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t about love stories but pirates and most of all about one pirate, who still represents the red line connecting the five movies: Jack Sparrow. His character, however majestically portrayed by Johnny Depp, remains the spotlight of the movies, always making the audience laugh, think, critically reflect about honesty and pride but mostly being a good men, in spite of his “pirates’ life”.