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Movie Review: Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks

Only a few movies can succeed while revolving around a small cast but Captain Phillips is pulling it off well. You don’t even have to know someone from the Marine industry to understand and relate to the story. The build-up of suspense is enough and the tension is very real.

Tom Hanks, once again, shines in this movie. The A-lister is very effective as a stoic, calm and collected leader of the ship, Maersk Alabama. The rest of the ship’s crew, the Somali hijackers and the NAVY seal provide excellent backdrops to the drama as it unfolds. Capt. Phillips is a true to life documentary of the hijacking that happened in 2009. The Maersk Alabama was commandeered by Somali pirates despite valiant efforts to keep it from happening. The quick thinking crew, the small maneuvers and even the covert advice of

Captain Phillips keep the audience engaged. It is a relief to watch a movie where the characters are proactive and not just accepting of their fate.

The Somali actors also need special mention. The casting director’s choice of actors made the movie more realistic and alive. The Somali pirates have not been presented as mere menacing and hardened individuals. A few brief shots of where they are from and the kind of live they lead make them more human and also make the audience relent to them…a little. After all, poverty is no excuse for violence, is it? One thing to be remembered as well is a small scene where Hanks tells the pirate leader he didn’t have to do all these (pertaining to the crime) but got an answer that in his land, he had no choice. A few Google clicks away and you’ll be surprised to find that the Somalian’s ages ranged from 16-20. This knowledge somehow puts them under a new light…at least for me.

The only negative thing I have to say about the film is the small part that Catherine Keener had to play as Tom Hank’s wife. She barely has a few minutes airtime; she might as well have been replaced by an extra. It’s simply a waste of talent to cast someone of her caliber and not use her acting chops. All in all however, Capt. Phillips is a surprisingly great film and one which will be bound to win or at least get nominated in several awards.

You can check-out the trailer below here also:

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