Pirates again? Aw, mom! Yeah yeah yeah, I’m pressing this pirates theme one more time—honestly, this is the last one. Promise. But it’s the best one. Part 2 in the Mad, Mad Weekend is ol’ Squid-face himself, Davy Jones.
In nautical lore, few folks are more feared, and more ambiguous, than Davy Jones. I don’t know what the basis of the fear is or what’s in his locker: I always assumed you’d be trapped in there with old socks, incomplete assignments and dirty gym clothes. But whatever it was, it’s enough to terrify sailors for a couple hundred years. In the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Davy Jones and his ship, the Flying Dutchman (not the same thing as on Spongebob, youngins) is a terrifyingly real entity to be reckoned with.
When we first see Davy Jones and his octopus-clad face, he is giving sailors from a destroyed ship a choice: death or 100 years on the Dutchman—and then death, I guess. Right off the bat, we see the Davy Jones is a little deeper than most other characters in the POTC movies: life and death are pretty clear ideas but Davy Jones appears to be the captain of everything in between.
That my man has an octopus for a face, a crab claw for a hand, one missing leg and a thick Scottish accent (along with that FANTASTIC hat!) is one thing. That he cut out his own heart is something else entirely. You know what I’m talking about, right? To be the captain of the Flying Dutchman, to act as that ferryman between life and death on the seven seas, means he gets to live forever but he can come on land for one day every 10 years. Dave is in love with the goddess of the sea, Calypso, and, on his one day on land, your girl doesn’t show. No call, no letter, nothing. Just doesn’t show. So Davy cuts out his own heart and locks it in a chest.
Remember back in middle school, or maybe highschool for you late bloomers, passing that “Do you like me?” note with the Yes or No checkboxes? Remember the minutes or hours or days before you ever heard back? Remember how that felt? That’s limbo. Now multiply that by like a million and you get how my man felt standing on the beach, broad smile, flowers, champagne, waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Nothing. Your girl NEVER shows. EVER.
She ain’t even sorry. We actually get to see her pseudo-apology on screen, talking about, “That’s just my nature.” Grinning and shit. You know this wasn’t the first time, right? It’s bad enough she stood him up for his one day on land but you know his response wasn’t based on that one time—“It’s like the fifth time, Caly. What the fuck?” So he does what any quasi-immortal, purgatory-granting, goddess-loving, heartbroken individual would do: he sells her out to the Brethren Court of the pirates and teaches them how to bind her to a human form. Bet you’ll show up next time, huh?
Davy Jones is more than a giant squid-controlling, raggedy ship sailing villain: he’s a heartbroken soul with immense power. His personal tragedy is both his greatest source of power and his Achilles heel. And watching the aftermath of his unrequited love play out on the big screen is damn fine cinema.
Part III is coming! Next is Gaston!