Monday, October 21, 2013

Captain Phillips Review

I made the mistake of dismissing Captain Phillips as another bad movie starring Tom Hanks. I was sorely wrong when we caught a special screening of the film.

There's a lot of thing going in Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips. Quick disclaimer, Hanks here is not a gung ho pirate captain. He's basically an aged captain for a cargo shipping company that's been thrust into a very dangerous situation.

The high stakes drama at the high seas gives us a look at how dangerous piracy really is not just for the captains and first mates but also for the rest of the crew. Yes kids, this is just one of the many things that your dad has to go through in order to send you to school, put food on the table and give you your iPad.

Hanks was brilliant here. It's actually a mish-mash of some other Hanks classic characters. There's a bit of his rational Robert Langdon here, a dash of some Chuck Noland (from Cast Away) and a pinch of Woody. Either way, there's no real reason why you can't like Hanks' Phillips here. The Academy Award winner also shows us why he has been getting some rave comments about his acting chops as he shows us how the human spirit endures through the face of adversity.

Though the plot and the trailer might be a yawner, I can assure you as early as now that you won't be bored with this film. Everything was great. The visuals, the musical scoring, Hanks as the eponymous Captain Phillips and even the Somali pirates that boards the Maersk Alabama.

One of the best things about this movie is that it lulls you with a sense of false safety that everything's OK and then delivers another complication. In other films, the second or third twist will just kill you with boredom but its simply not the case with 'Phillips'.

It's easy to paint a picture of the Somali pirates as the bad guys, the guys who are simply looking for money but in this film, we get a fair amount of screen time for the pirates led by Muse (played by Barkhad Abdi). The skinny guy was a great character because he easily crosses over from good-guy-turned-bad-guy to somebody who's been thrust into a very deadly situation. He's also the perfect example of the adage 'looks can be deceiving'. 

I dunno, maybe there's a tinge of bias here for this film especially since I worked with a Maritime company in the past and was covering pirate incidents off the coast of Africa around the time that the movie was depicted in. For me, it's a sense of nostalgia as well.

Verdict: Captain Phillips is one of the best and modern high seas drama I've seen in the past few years. More like this please.

No comments:

Post a Comment