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Captain Phillips | Hollywood Movie | Personal Reviews

Captain Richard Phillips (born May 16, 1955) is a merchant mariner from USA. He was serving MV Maersk Alabama when it was hijacked by the Somali Pirates in April 2009. He was the only person captured in the hijack and he survived.

Movie :
Captain Phillips
Producers : Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, Scott Rudin
Director :
Paul Greengrass
Writer :
Based On : A Captain’s Duty : Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea by with
Studio : Michael De Luca Productions, Scott Rudin Productions, Trigger Street Productions
Distributed by : Columbia Pictures
Cinematography : Barry Ackroyd
Music : Henry Jackman
Editor : Christopher Rouse
Released On :
Starring : Tom Hanks (Richard Phillips), Barkhad Abdi (Abduwali Muse), Catherine Keener (Andrea Phillips), Faysal Ahmed (Najee), Michael Chernus (Shane Murphy), David Warshofsky (Mike Perry), Corey Johnson (Ken Quinn), Chris Mulkey (John Cronan), Yul Vazquez (Commander Frank Castellano), Max Martini (U.S. Navy SEAL commander), Omar Berdouni (Nemo), Mohamed Ali (Assad), Barkhad Abdirahman (Bilal), Mahat M. Ali (Elmi), Issak Farah Samatar (Hufan), and others…

His real life incidents are not less than anything filmy. Later he penned a book named A Captain’s Duty : Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea about this entire incident and his experiences. Of course, the survival is tough to the level of unbelievability. But his strong will, a series of events and circumstances, the prompt actions by savers and other factors played a positive role in the same. And to add to the bravery of Richard, he, after getting fully recovered mentally and physically from the mishap, have again join his duty as merchant mariner and went back to sea after fourteen months of the incident. It is indeed an example of determination and bravery. Hats off! to Captain Richard Phillips.

The movie screenplay is gripping and the writer deserves the credit for the same. Some of the scenes are underplayed and proved effective that way. Tom Hanks is convincing as Captain Phillips and he performed really well. His facial expressions showing his determination, helplessness, genuineness,… all are fantastic. Barkhad Abdi’s job is even tougher and he performed it pretty well. After watching the film, you may not accept anyone else playing the role. Faysal Ahmed as Najee is convincing too. They both played major roles, but we must say that the actors playing small roles did some great efforts as well. None of the gave a chance to complain for his/her performance.

In addition to the drama on the chest of the sea/ocean, the movie also explores the emotional quotient as well. One one hand the action scenes are filmed pretty well, on the other the emotional scenes filmed delicately. Some of the scenes will remain in your memory for ever like:

  • After facing the initial setback how Abduwali takes control of the pirate group.
  • The pirates took their boat near the ship and setup a ladder at the side of the ship and climb it down to conquer the ship.
  • The initial little argument where some crew members wanted to leave the ship.
  • The crew with the captain tries various stuff to manipulate the pirates.
  • The pirate took Phillips with them.
  • The sacrifice Phillips show in saving his crew from getting injured, and the same genuineness shown by the crew towards Captain after he was taken by pirates.
  • The climax fight and Captain Phillips’ release.
  • The emotional scenes including Phillip’s family members.

On one had Phillips claimed the authenticity of the incidents shown in the film some of the crew members came saying otherwise. Some of they even claimed that He is not the hero as shown in the film. These controversies I think will remain there as the real incidents on the ship are as we got to hear from those who were part of the mishap.

If you look at the scene where pirates went to a seashore village to hire troops(!), you got to see the life the people living there. Due to the poverty and tough situations they face, they became more vulnerable and join such gangs. However their work cannot be justified anyway, we can simply got to know one of the reason of this ugly problem. And yes, when the money is your primary requirement, the weapons are all available, the chances are more that you choose the wrong way – especially when you are vulnerable!

The mariners spend a lot of time on the sea-bed. Sometimes they are away from the land for days and even months. It is not easy to understand the physical and psychological situations and problems they used to face when on the voyage. They need tremendous will power to fought such unexpected situations.

The beginning of the movie is something not to be missed. The conversation between Richard and his wife is taken out of real life. Most of the parents worry about current time and future of their kids the same way.

The shipyard, the preparation of a voyage there, a captain checking various aspects before leaving, are filmed well.

The hard time the captain (and even the pirates) facing in the closed life boat is filmed realistically. How eventually they run out of food and water and how the Navy SEALs took over the situation is also a fantastic watch.

The other scene we must mention is the one when rescued captain is going under primary treatment. Fantastic acting makes the scene a must watch.

Overall a quality movie which is filled with a few stunning performances, nice picturisation and good direction, nice dialogs, cool cinematography. It is a delight to watch movie.

Some of the prestigious movie awards the film and its cast/crew are nominated for:

86th Academy Awards
Best Picture    
Best Supporting Actor : Barkhad Abdi
Best Adapted Screenplay : Billy Ray
Best Film Editing : Christopher Rouse
Best Sound Mixing : Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munrod
71st Golden Globe Awards
Best Motion Picture – Drama    
Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama : Tom Hanks
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture : Barkhad Abdi
Best Director : Paul Greengrass
67th British Academy Film Awards
Best Film    
Best Director : Paul Greengrass
Best Actor in a Leading Role : Tom Hanks
Best Actor in a Supporting Role : Barkhad Abdi
Best Adapted Screenplay : Billy Ray
Best Cinematography : Barry Ackroyd
Best Original Music : Henry Jackman
Best Sound    
Best Editing : Christopher Rouse
Best Sound Mixing : Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munrod

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