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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Prepare to be blown out of the water. 

Year: 2003 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Gore Verbinski 
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom  
An image from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

The storyline is wonderfully predictable.  Orlando Bloom plays a blacksmith's assistant with romantic intentions upon the governor's daughter (Knightley).  Throw in an ancient curse and zombie pirates and all you have to do is wait for the happy ending to appear.

Yet for all the simplicity of the main plot enough twists and turns are thrown in, along with some truly entertaining characters for this swashbuckling adventure to become genuinely engaging.  Ok, so no-one is going to believe that the slender Bloom is a working blacksmith but this film is not intended to be believable.  This film is all about entertainment, and that it delivers by the galleon.

There seems no stopping the career of Orlando Bloom, having been blasted in stardom by the Lord of the Rings, he is now starring in everything from the gruelling Black Hawk Down to this playful romp.  Kiera Knightley is still not a credible actress but this hardly matters in film that doesn't take itself too seriously.  Geoffrey Rush once again proves that he is unrated as an actor with a creepy, yet in someway sentimental, performance of the pirate captain Barbossa.  Yet there is no doubting that the true star of the film is Johnny Depp.

As Captain Jack Sparrow, Depp lights up the screen delivering each line with amazing finesse without stealing the spot light from the other performers.  His character is comically confident which Depp develops to full advantage making this rogue of the high seas almost lovable.  This performance deserves the promise of a sequel which is hinted at the end of the film.

No, this film is not profound but it is clever in that it achieves all it sets out to.  It is fundamentally a family film, fun for both children and adults - no-one will be disappointed by this film.

Thomas Gaston

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Spring Term (35mm)
2003/2004 Spring Term (35mm)
2023/2024 Summer Term (digital)
2021/2022 Summer Term (digital)
2023/2024 Summer Term (digital)
2021/2022 Summer Term (digital)