Respect! That’s the first thing that brims out for the real life hero Captain Phillips turned out to be- displaying quick presence of mind even in the most extreme scenarios. This docudramatic film features in it not one but three heroes, all of whom have delivered awesomeness- Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi as actors (essaying Captain Richard Phillips and the pirate Muse respectively), and director Paul Greengrass who helmed this beauty. And yes, Captain Phillips packs in high regards for the US Navy and its officials This film envelopes a bigger picture- it’s not just a good versus bad story- that would be a very simple perspective to lend. Instead, this movie takes into consideration the moral involvement of both active parties- the ship crew and the pirates- as well as their political agenda; as the Captain comebacks in his own words to the pirate’s “We have bosses”- “We all have bosses.” The pirates are human after all, and the film doesn’t mask that humanity.
This film narrates the story of a US cargo vessel’s hijacking by a Somalian pirates, who escape the cargo taking Captain Phillips as hostage in one of the ship’s lifeboat, and how the US Navy rescues the captain in a close-called encounter.
You have to keep reminding yourself time and again that Tom Hanks is just performing his art, and is not really enduring all the displayed unpleasantness. The actor is splendid in his role, especially in the second half, and this has to be the award-winning actor’s best work in recent years. Somebody please give this man another Oscar! Also, the Somalian actor Barkhad Abdi as the pirate Muse is a real find. He enacts one optimistic bastard who sticks to ‘everything will be ok’ till the very end, as in the end it is, but fortunately not for him. He renders an amazing pirate attitude, and has a very restrained sympathetic side that he pays little heed to.
The last twenty minutes of the film drench your emotions the most. The screenplay leading to the grand final shall leave you unnerved, and the background score just intensifies the tension. As far as the direction is concerned, this film just testifies Paul’s genius, and captures similar emotional strain as in United 93. His expressive camera does the needful. Editing is crisp, and though the narrative moves at a sedated pace throughout, you won’t face a single dull moment in the entire 134 minute run of this docudrama.
To Captain Phillips and Tom Hanks, I clap the highest of fives. Do catch this thrilling beauty at the nearest cinema hall near you. Goosebumps guaranteed.
Overall rating: 5/5