The mad, forgetful Bootstrap Bill was another strange, surrealist character figure, particularly in the scene where Elizabeth finds him on the Dutchman. He's pathetic and imprisoned in his own uncertainty, caught between mindless loyalty to Davey and futile, misguided hope in his son. Being part of the ship has made him tragic and amnesiac, able to repeat a conversaion as if he's having it for the first time, and it establishes his character as a unique, unpredictable force, both emotionally and narratively. In this sense, he shares a kinship with Mulholland Dr.'s Diane Selwyn, who first appears as a distraught, disturbed, and emotionally crippled actress at a low point in her career.
There's also the sick anatomy stuff that keeps kicking us gently in the face. The scene where Jack's doppelganger licks his own brain is priceless. The death by tentacle lobotomy is pretty brilliant, too. These are the signature scenes of a filmmaker who really wants our attention.
I'm not going to sit here and say I liked Pirates III because it was, like a Lynch film, a profound, avant-garde piece of art cinema, or a masterpiece of surrealist post-modern narrative. But it did share something with Lynch: it was an explosive, ecstatic act of filmmaking, almost childlike in its lack of inhibition.
This is the maelstrom, take it as it is: a mad cinema freakout that none of us could have expected from Gore Verbinski, hard to follow, but insanely engaging on a dramatic and aesthetic level. Don't hold back, Gore. I'm right behind you.