“Captain Phillips” Review


Hopper Stone

Raw, real and disturbingly thrilling, Paul Greengrass’ film, Captain Phillips, left me in a state of awe. The movie is a mix of harsh reality, the nature of humans, and quality acting. The movie stars Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi whose characters struggle for the dominance of an American cargo ship.

The Somali leader, Muse (played fantastically by Abdi), shows the American Dream in a demented and depressing sense that hit me hard while sitting in the manicured theatre.  Hanks, who plays Captain Phillips, was the epitome of fear and bravery as he attempts to save his ship and own life. Once again, Hanks gives a beautiful and meaningful performance in this film. The director did an amazing job of illustrating both sides of the subplot: portraying the difference between the lives and motives of the Somali and Americans.

The only critique I have for the film is the length. It dragged on a bit at parts. Overall I think that it is an entertaining and exciting film.

I am not sure if this was intentional on the director’s part, but this film gave me a new perspective on human nature and power. Muse and his crew illustrate how power can dement and twist humans; the men becoming hungry for the satisfaction that absolute control gives. Although the men are capturing the boat for the money they will receive, I think the suppression they receive from their bosses and current economic and cultural situations has a huge impact on their actions. They are finally given the power of their own destiny they so desperately desire.

The way the beginning of the movie connects to the ending theme was amazing as well. In one of the first scenes, Phillips and his wife discuss the hardships people having finding work in American society. This ties back to the difficulties people in other countries face, and the crimes they commit to live.

If you are looking for a fun thriller, I would not recommend this movie because of the emotional plot and the depth of the theme. On the contrary, I think people should see the film because it gives an understanding of the life style in other parts of the world.

Overall, it is a quality film that I believe deserves recognition for the wonderful acting and meaningful message.