Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl ★★★★★

I knew I loved this film when I sat down to rewatch it with my family...but I don't know if I've ever truly understood the deep, human level on which I appreciate every inch of this piece of utter cinema. From the stunning cinematography, the legendary performances, the swashbuckling, Saturday morning cartoon nature of it all, the phenomenally well-aged ILM effects, the immense layers of depth and meaning it is all hidden behind, the score that continues to be one of my all-time favs...and the fact that this is just the beginning of a trilogy full of this top-notch filmmaking (and two additional films that are entertaining and maybe unnecessary but are over-hated nonetheless).

This particular entry reached a level of storytelling I didn't even recall by being a very nuanced three-way character study. The question at the core of this film comes down to the thin line between a good man and a bad one (man meaning man and woman of course). There's also an interesting dynamic between our leads as far as ideologies and goals go - Elizabeth longs to become a pirate or at least encounter one. Will longs to escape his past and denies his true roots as a pirate. And Jack...well, Jack's just doing everything in his power to prove he's the best pirate in the Caribbean. Barbossa also offers an interesting foil to the three, being a man who gave in to the temptations of treasure and piracy. Jack would be with him in that sense, if not for the truth beneath his drunken exterior - that he is a good man. There's also a big theme about following orders and codes, not just in relation to the obvious constant chatter about obeying Pirate Codes, but also in Norrington and Swann's biased hatred towards pirates and strict enforcement against them. The conclusion the film reaches is very simple considering the complicated path it took to get there - what makes a man or woman a good one is whether or not they have a heart...........WHICH OBVIOUSLY TIES IN PERFECTLY TO THE SEQUEL HOLY CRAP I LOVE THIS FRANCHISE SO MUCH I'M GONNA CRY AHHHHHHH