Movie review Essay

Submitted By shivanimalhotra93
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Captain Phillips Review Captain Phillips is a high seas drama - based on the memoirs of Captain Richard Phillips,“A Captains Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous days at sea,” Philips was in command of a cargo ship named Maersk Alabama which was hijacked by Somali pirates in April 2009. Directed by Paul Greengrass, this movie, like his previous works in the Bourne series, is a great blend of contemporary action and raw emotion. Tom Hanks’ extraordinary performance as an ordinary captain whose world is suddenly shattered and Barkhad Abdi’s outstanding depiction of a ruthless Somali pirate leader (Muse) left me surprised. The film was written by Billy Ray who is also famous for his screenplays in The Hunger Games and Flightplan. But unlike his other works, this picture is a not-very-detailed yet enlightening account of the four days when the “real” Captain Philips was taken hostage. The movie opens with Phillips packing his bag and is about to board a flight to the middle-eastern country of Oman to begin what becomes the journey of a lifetime. Hereafter the movie picks up pace as he boards the ship. While Phillips is busy inspecting his ship and checking the locks in every nook and cranny, a voyage of a different sort is being planned on a beach in Somalia. Pirate groups are seen recruiting young, skinny, desperate men to hijack ships and bring home large ransoms. In one scene the captain curtly orders his crew to run a safety drill and in the next his worst fears come true as they observe two pirate boats on their radar approaching them swiftly. The following day four pirates led by their ambitious leader Muse manage to hijack the Alabama in the Somali basin which initiates a hide-and-seek game between them and the twenty-something unarmed all-American crew of this ship. After all efforts to retrieve the “millions of dollars” worth goods from the ship fail, Phillips is taken hostage and the pirates leave with him on a dirty orange lifeboat. Now that the two chiefs, Phillips and Muse, have met this broil the film’s energy escalates and the fast camera cuts and racing soundtrack only enhance your sense of desperation. However, in an interview with New York Daily the real Phillips mentioned that the rendition of these intimate scenes and the bond between the two leaders is unlike what happened in reality. "We were adversaries, we all knew that going in and going out. Many times I’ve thought, put us back in there without weapons and we’ll see who comes out.” – Phillips said in the interview. As we spend more time with the infuriated yet scared Somali’s and a frenzied Phillips on the lifeboat we see that the character of each of the four pirates is well-thought and well rounded. Through the second half of the movie Greengrass reiterates that they are not seasoned killers; only fisherman who have been forced into this lifestyle by an unforgiving and poverty-stricken society. After spending three days on the sea under the baking African sun both parties find themselves at the mercy of the mighty US military. This particular NAVY seals operation made headlines in 2009 making the climax of the movie fairly predictable. In spite of this Hanks’ character is rarely seen as the protagonist but it is the well-crafted story-telling that made me feel Phillips’ anguish, terror and urgency. Some might argue that making celebrity Tom Hanks play Phillips could have made his character less believable in contrast to the new-comers who depicted the pirates very persuasively. Honestly, Hanks’ popularity was the only reason I saw this movie. I have developed a deep liking for him due to some of his previous works including Apollo 13, Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan. I went to the theatre picturing the brainy and charming Robert Langdon (of The Da Vince Code and Angels and Demons) as Phillips and it took me less than fifteen minute to