Navigating Hostile Waters

Captain Phillips

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Director: Paul Greengrass

Starring: Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Michael Cernus, Max Martini

From the acclaimed director of United 93, Green Zone and The Bourne Supremacy, Paul Greengrass delivers another phenomenally brilliant docu-style thriller about modern day piracy in the harrowing film Captain Phillips. Two time Oscar Winner for Forrest Gump and Philadelphia; Tom Hanks delivers a sterling performance as the main character and proves his worth as a critically acclaimed superstar.

Captain Phillips tells the incredible true story of the 2009 hijacking of the US flag Maersk container ship MV Maersk Alabama off the Somali coast enroute from the Gulf to Kenya. Maersk – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maersk, a Danish based container shipping company is noticeable in any major port in the world from Durban to Rotterdam, from Dubai to Singapore and has offices in over 135 countries.

 Captain Phillips begins in the safety of Vermont, North Eastern America as the conventional Richard Phillips leaves home with his wife Andrea (a very brief scene by Oscar nominee, Catherine Keener) and flies off to the Middle East to captain a massive container ship travelling from the Port of Salalah in Oman to Mombasa in Kenya. Meanwhile back on the wild Somalian coastline, warlords are hustling up heavily armed potential pirates to go and capture one of these mammoth vessels using manoeuvrable skiffs to board these huge vessels so that the shipping company can pay a massive ransom for its valuable cargo.

What elevates Captain Philips from just another sea drama story is the superb direction of Paul Greengrass coupled with two equally dazzling and terrific performances by Hanks and the main Hostage taker, Abduwali Muse, a desperate Pirate Leader, wonderfully played by Barkhad Abdi, whose breakout performance has already garnered critical attention by the Hollywood Foreign Press and has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actor.

For Tom Hanks, who let’s be honest has really wowed viewers on the Big Screen recently from Larry Crowne to Cloud Atlas until this film. Hank’s Captain Phillips is terrifyingly accurate of a normal sensible man who is caught in an utterly extraordinarily dangerous situation which rapidly spirals out of control in hostile waters. Captain Phillips’s absolute fear and complete shock at dealing with a situation which soon becomes so traumatic that it’s impossible to imagine is completely believable and palpable.

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Captain Phillips with a screenplay by Billy Ray based upon a book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea (2010), by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty is a must see true life thriller and if viewers loved United 93 then Captain Phillips will keep audiences absolutely riveted.

This is top-notch entertainment from a director who really deserves more Oscar recognition. Captain Phillips is not to be missed and will retain its critical acclaim for years to come.

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