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“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” by Verbinski

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” represents a unique piece of work with an outstanding actor play, immaculate special effects and tricks, breathtaking scenes, and numerous aspects to consider. The movie is one of my favorites since it is an excellent combination of different genres and, in addition to being a fantasy, has the elements of comedy, drama, action, and adventure. It shows exceptional characters to the viewers and manages to reveal their personalities throughout the events. For instance, each crew member at the Flying Dutchman reflects the representatives of marine life with Davy Jones having a squid face, or others looking like a hammerhead shark and spiky blowfish. Curiously, the longer their contract with the ship is, the more sea-like they become. I believe that the “Pirates of the Caribbean” is worth watching for different types of audiences and since the movie is a fantastic example of a high-quality piece of cinematography.

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One of the crucial elements of the movie’s creation is the way is edited. The film creates an outstanding picture in which all the shots follow each other smoothly and do not make the viewer wonder if they missed something. One of the great moments is when Jack Sparrow’s crew gets locked in bone cages hanging between the cliffs (“Pirates of the Caribbean,” 2006). The spectators see the scene when the cage is swinging from one side to another, and then the scene switches to the tribe chasing Jack. The shots are interchanging quickly, which creates a feeling of action and, at the same time, has a humoristic tone. In addition, many frames are organized in such a way that the audience has an opportunity to observe not only the central scenes but also the background, which is unique and conveys a characteristic feature of the pirate era. Due to close-ups and other camera tricks, dramatic scenes are mixed with comic inserts, and the movie is perceived easily.

Further, the film structure may be discussed, which presents a clear and understandable picture to viewers. One can notice that the events in the movie are connected and that the characters’ storylines are twisted. At the same time, the events are arranged sequentially, and there are no plot shifts, flashbacks, or other tricks. Such a structure is probably chosen intentionally because a large number of new characters and events require the constant attention of the audience, and in the case of sudden changes, the thread of the plot may be lost. As a result, viewers are not distracted by related topics, and the chosen theme of the movie makes it possible to empathize with the key characters in the context of a single story taken.

Another significant technical aspect that brings aesthetical enjoyment to spectators is the lighting and color used in the scenes. The color palette used in “Pirates of the Caribbean” reflects the movie’s atmosphere at a particular moment. For instance, the shades portrayed in Davy Jones’ cabin when he holds Elizabeth as a hostage represent the emotional tension of the episode, the character’s traits, and psychological reactions. Moreover, the way the directors use the lighting, especially in the scene with a white sand beach, discloses the atmosphere and the heat of the movie. Compared to the first part, the sequel is presented in darker shades since many events take place on the Flying Dutchman with the participation of its damned crew. As a result, the effect of gloom is achieved due to deep blue and black colors, although, as a contrast, individual episodes show the colorfulness of the island nature.

It is also essential to mention the use of the soundtrack in the film. First, the central musical theme of all the movies in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequence attracts attention. It creates unbelievable emotions of something adventurous, and the heart starts beating faster. Mixing the lighting and color with music and sound effects throughout the film generates a unique creation of impressive scenes where viewers live along with the characters. Moreover, musical accompaniment plays a significant role in the aesthetical impression of the movie. Placing specific sound effects in particular moments strengthens the film’s gist and reflects the emotional message. One should note the movie received an Oscar in the nomination for sound editing, which proves the quality of the musical accompaniment, and the recognizability of the melody from the film proves the popularity of the soundtrack.

The next critical point is the use of cinematography, which is realized perfectly achieved in the “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The movements of the camera precisely show everything needed for the viewers and do not create a feeling of uncertainty. One of the excellent shots used a low angle when Jack Sparrow had a stick with fruit tied to his back during his escape from the tribe. Some of the scenes were shot from the distance to give the perception of the vast sea space. Volumetric panoramas complemented by computer graphics create the effect of complete immersion in the actions of the movie. At the same time, different types of plans are utilized, which does not allow singling out anyone characteristic technique. In individual scenes, different shooting methods are required, for instance, a close-up to maintain the comic nature of the story or an upper panorama to present the scene scale.

Screenwriting also contributes to the quality of the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” significantly. The beginning of the story is catchy and starts with a dramatic scene, which further escalates in a different direction. Throughout the events, the main characters face not only success but also failures, such as getting caught by the tribe or being imprisoned by Davy Jones. As mentioned earlier, to make the movie interesting for viewers of different ages, which is a natural practice for scriptwriters at Walt Disney Pictures, gloomy scenes are mixed with comical events. This helps reduce tension but maintains an interest in the plot and influences the audience in individual episodes, for instance, in a conversation between Will Turner and his father.

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Another aspect is the use of innovative technologies in the film through the implementation of effects, which gives it a substantial advantage and makes it more fascinating to watch. The movie involves terrific visual and special effects, and, as Martin Scorsese says, in combination with professional editing, they are used “to make an emotional and psychological point to an audience” (Edutopia, 2012). For instance, the creation of the Flying Dutchman crew involves some extraordinary possessions. For an ordinary viewer, these effects look both intimidating and attractive, which is probably the key idea. Due to the use of high-quality computer graphics, not only the characters but also the battle scenes look realistic, which is also a plus of the movie, and the level of effects is not inferior to that in the first part.

In conclusion, one can argue that after learning more about different technical and aesthetic aspects of cinematography, one can see their favorite movie with more exceptional insights. The elements discussed above, such as screenwriting, editing, music, lighting, and others help understand directors’ basic ideas and convey screenwriters’ initial thoughts. A professional combination of these factors creates an excellent piece of work that leaves a pleasant aftertaste.


  1. Edutopia. (2012). Martin Scorsese on the importance of visual literacy [Video]. YouTube.
  2. Verbinski, G. (2006). Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead man’s chest [Film]. Walt Disney Pictures.

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