Film review: “Captain Phillips”


Director: Paul Greengrass

Writers: Billy Ray (screenplay), Richard Phillips (based upon the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea” by).

Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi,…

I have to admit that I didn’t expect this movie to be so good. It began a bit slow and boring in my opinion, and I was distracted several times, but it immediately got exciting and nerve-wrecking. The movie is 134 min long. It might be a bit too long, but I think it’s necessary in order to explain such a story, and display the characters in a stunning way. 

Except for the main story of this movie, I liked to see the differemt aspects of the pirates. Somehow I pitied them. Of course they were criminals, but I don’t believe that they were evil. I think the director did a great job in displaying the despair of them. There were some scenes in the lifeboat which struck me. For example when they talk about their bosses. Of course Phillips is right when he says that everyone has bosses, but I think the real bosses of those pirates is life itself. The coincidence that the ship has food for poor people in Africa was very ironic. I could even understand why Musa was especially wanting to take Philips with him. I don’t want to say that it was good that they captured him, but I just could understand how they might hate the West, especially America, that catches the fishes out of their seas, just to send them some “american food” and make them dependent. I can understand the hatred and the striving for power in this case. 

Another question I asked myself was that if it really is necessary to kill 3 people to save one? Phillips looks like the victim, but aren’t those pirates victims as well? These questions occupied me after the movie, and now I feel better after posting them here. Here, the movie did a great job. Not every movie manages to show differemt aspect to a situation and gets the audience to think about it.

In the end, we were all happy that Phillips survived, of course. Tom Hanks did a great job, again. I can’t really decide what he acted the best: The Courage while leading a crew in such a situation, The Fear in the lifeboat, or the Shock after the situation. 

It is a true story, which makes it more difficult for the actors to act, because they are limited in improvising. Both, Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi did an excellent job. I sympathetized for both character, to be honest. And like mentioned before, Greengrass did a great job with displaying such a situation and the different aspects on it and the characters.

Final review – 9/10: Might be a bit too slow in the beginnijg, but the movie blows you away and even gives you some questions to think about.


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