21 November 2013 | ma-cortes
A superb and fascinating thriller with a top-drawer acting by Tom Hanks
This is a powerful and intensely watchable film , a masterful exercise in building tension . Director Paul Greengrass has established himself as a huge talent . This is the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years . The first encounter with the young Somalis who chase and board the gigantic Maersk Alabama is on the shores of their homeland, delving , briefly but significantly , into the poverty that drives fishermen to risk life and limb in pursuit of deep sea big game . As the crew of an American cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates who proceed to engage in escalating negotiations with authorities to get a lot of money . Amongst the men on board are the ship's captain who along with the rest of the seamen are taken hostage in a cynical game of life and death.
It's a grade A picture , a gem , absorbing , riveting , highly moving , incredibly tense . This is a psychological drama in which a group of violent pirates demand for a ransom of millions of dollars , it unfolds a battle of wits between the crew of the shipping company and the Somali pirates . This is a smart and sensitive thriller filled with noisy action , thrills , emotion and very entertaining though overlong . Thrilling as well as exciting confrontation of wits between captain Phillips , seamen and pirates , who gradually come to up more and more . This drama about the capture on the high seas of an American ship is doubtless the most exciting one that has ever come down the pike about . This nail-biter is a tightly-knit drama centered on the relentless sea maneuvers of a freighter pursued by a band of pirates and the captain's subsequent kidnapping . The picture makes up for it with an evolving atmosphere of anxiety and fear .
Everything in Paul Greengrass's impressive film looks so real that you might think it's a high resolution videotape of a pirate hijacking . Interesting screenplay , being based upon the book "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea" . And the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama and hostage-taking of Captain Phillips were also central to the Elmore Leonard novel Djibouti (2010). The timing of the release coincides with the theatrical release of a Danish movie titled "Kapringen" or ¨A Hijacking¨ (2012) by Tobias Lindholm dealing with similar events . Top-notch performance by Tom Hanks as a clever as well astute captain along with a remaining support cast formed by unknown African players . Tom Hanks says the first time he met the actors playing the Somali pirates was when they started filming the pirates taking over the bridge , Paul Greengrass mentioned he did this intentionally to build up tension between the actors on board the ship and the actors playing the Somaili pirates. In ¨Captain Phillips¨ there is the urgent hand-held camera-work, a directorial trademark refined and perfected by cameraman Barry Ackroyd , which lends an air of pseudo-documentary authenticity to carefully staged reconstructions, putting us right there in the huddle of the action . Furthermore , a tense as well as enjoyable musical score by Henry Jackman .
The motion picture was compellingly directed by Paul Greengrass who proved his action aesthetics and nail-biting filmmaking as well as he formerly made in ¨Green zone¨, ¨The Bourne ultimatum¨ , ¨United 93¨, ¨Bourne supremacy¨ , ¨Bloody Sunday¨, among others . Rating : Above average , a magnificent film . Essential and indispensable seeing . The picture will appeal to Tom Hanks fans .