Character Study: Captain Jack Sparrow

Name: Captain Jack Sparrow

Book/Film/TV Show: Film Series

Personality: As Will Turner so eloquently put it – somewhere between madness and brilliance. He’s lewd, usually half cut, selfish, cowardly and, of course, a pirate. But, he’s also noble, in his own way, and though it can be difficult to work out whose side he’s on,  he usually comes up good in the end.

Why They’re A Great Character: From his iconic, ridiculous and brilliant entry on the sinking boat, Johnny Depp’s down on his luck pirate, Jack Sparrow, is a total show stealer. He has grimy teeth, questionable hygiene and a whole series of conquests in Tortuga whose names he can’t remember – but he is unquestionably very attractive, and that isn’t all Johnny Depp.

There’s something about his wilful madness that makes for fascinating watching. After years of LOST second guessing, I’m a bit burned out of the old ‘which side is he really on?’ game, but Jack walks the line with equal parts swagger and madness in a way that makes you question if he really knows what side he’s on. And though the fact that the film bears a Disney association does make you feel a happy ending is on the horizon, it’s still an adventure to get there.

The funny thing is, Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner was obviously meant to be the heart throb, the hero. But his rather limp character is no more than a comedy side kick, constantly in Jack’s enormous shadow. It’s a fact they clearly play up to in the second and third (less brilliant) instalments with the whole Jack-Elizabeth-Will love triangle thing, and while I’m glad Elizabeth did eventually get married to Will (I mean, Jack Sparrow is far more sexy, but he’s not really the sort of bloke you’d settle down with) I’m glad they played up the sexual tension because, honestly, there would be.

By the third film (I haven’t seen the fourth) Jack Sparrow had become the reason people still watched the increasingly over-ambitious, flabby films. I don’t even remember what happens in the third one (or what it’s called, apparently) except some vague recollection of a giant woman causing a sea storm. But I do remember a number of brilliant moments involving Jack. Particularly the bit where he runs from side to side on the boat to cause it to turn over, releasing them from the land of the dead. Or was that the second film? Regardless, the point stands – every memorable moment in the second and third films comes from Jack being an outrageous, brilliant, totally insane character.

Part of me is still tempted, despite negative reviews, to borrow a copy of the fourth one, just to see what he got up to next.


One thought on “Character Study: Captain Jack Sparrow

  1. Ivy Gilmore says:

    Watch the fourth one. It is awful, but Jack is on top form.

    Plus, it has mermaids and Edward Teach in it. (Get me, I know Blackbeard’s real name P:)


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