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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Movie Review - Captain Phillips

Movie Title
Captain Phillips
Action, Drama, SuspenseStory
The movie is based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking of the he cargo ship commandeered - Maersk Alabama, the first American vessel to be hijacked by Somali pirates in 200 years.

Despite knowing the risks of his assigned route, Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks) was confident the safety measures and procedures he and his crew have been given would be sufficient for their safe passage across the waters off the notorious Coast of Somalia.

As the Alabama approaches the African Cape, they encounter Somali pirates. The Somali pirates’ 1st attempt to board the Alabama with 2 skiffs, was thwarted by the crew and their safety procedures under Captain Phillips’ leadership. Led by their “captain” Muse (Barkhad Abdi), the pirates manage to board the Alabama on their 2nd attempt with only a single skiff and 4 pirates armed with automatic weapons & revolvers.

Altho’ viewers breathed a sigh of relief as it seemed as tho’ Captain Phillips managed to coaxed the pirates into leaving them after surrendering a loot of USD30k from the Captain’s safe, but the pirates considered to be a paltry sum was they were expecting millions. However, viewers were taken on an emotional roller-coaster ride again as Captain Phillips was taken hostage by the pirates as they left the Alabama in a life raft.

Before long, 1 of the pirate crew members begin to see weakness in Muse and becomes bolder in his demonstration of insubordination. It is here that the audiences start to feel the fear for Captain Phillips because no one knows what to expect next.

Despite knowing that our hero will eventually be saved by the US Navy, the experience viewers go thru' before while we get there is gripping and suspenseful.
The performances were spectacular, not only from Hanks but also the Somali pirates, played by unknowns (well, at least to me they are) Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed & Mahat M. Ali. . When you watch them in the movie, you’d really feel fear as they bark their demands to Capt Phillips and his crew.
We expect no less than excellence from Tom Hanks. In this role, he conveys leadership, care and concern for his cargo & crew and the fear & anxiety he undergoes when his life and the lives of his crew were in extreme danger.

I was a little apprehensive before the movie started as this was a drama that had a length of over 2 hours! However, other than the 1st 10 minutes of the movie where they establish the characters, there was no let up in the pacing and progress of the story.
You’d be at the edge of your seat from the point the crew had the 1st encounter with the pirates right to the end. A really good watch with superb performances from the cast! 


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