For your consideration: Captain Phillips
You know the old saying, “There are three sides to every story. Yours, theirs, and the truth.” Well, we may need to add one. Yours, theirs, the truth, and the Hollywood version. There has been a lot of controversy over the portrayal of Captain Richard Phillips as a hero. Many of his actual crewmembers heavily dispute the depiction of Captain Phillips’ actions during the pirate take over of their vessel. Sadly, all the variations of the story by the crew, or in the book by Phillips and Stephan Talty, ‘A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea’, take away from an otherwise brilliantly acted, action thriller, that has you glued to your seat, after the first few minutes.
The action starts early on in this film, which I appreciated. The pirates are approaching and there is little the crew can do once they board the ship. Now it is on the Captain and his crew to keep the situation from getting any worse. Captain Phillips has his radio on, so the crew can hear what is going on when the pirates enter the bridge. This allows the crew to hide and to disable the ship. Phillips keeps calm while the pirates are trigger happy and full of adrenaline, but the lead pirate (Barkhad Abdi) remains calculating and clear in his objective. He doesn’t want the mere $30,000 Phillips offers him from the safe. He wants the bigger fish…$10 million ransom.
Tom Hanks is stellar in this role, and his acting abilities are taken to an even higher level during his final scene in the film. Another stand out performance comes from Abdi, who makes his first film debut as Abduwali Muse, the pirate leader. Abdi’s gives the “bad guy” character such depth. We are able to understand why he does what he does. We see his desperation as well as his logic. Abdi’s performance blew me away and I believe it took Hanks’s acting to that next level.
Captain Phillips is full of action and suspense. The film gives you a hero you cheer for as well as the unpredictable villain you fear. So, if you can put all the truth controversy on the back burner and see this film as the action thriller it is, you will greatly appreciate this film.