Captain Phillips Blu-ray review – Excellent Casts and Incredible Performances

Ayechan Oo, TSV Staff Writer

When someone hears the word pirate it’s funny, drunken, quick witted Captain Jack Sparrow that will most likely come to mind. But everyone will have a chance to experience non comical modern pirates in director Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips. Captain Phillips is based on the actual event of Captain Richard Phillips’ cargo ship, MV Maersk Alabama, hijacked by the ruthless Somali pirates in 2009.

Greengrass has already shown his directorial abilities in previous actions thrillers, including the Jason Bourne as well as United 93, another real event about one of the planes hijacked on 9/11. Captain Phillips is flawless with the excellent choice of Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks as the title role of Captain Richard Phillips, and again Greengrass prove to the audience with brilliant use of unfamiliar faces on screen as he did in United 93. Captain Phillips is definitely his intelligent choice of casts especially introducing Barkhad Abdi who amaze audiences without having any acting prior to this film.

Captain Phillips drives to the airport, and at the same time, he calms down his worried wife Andrea, played by Catherine Keener, who is not willing to let him go at this time since she is afraid for her husband and the threat of pirates while at sea. This introductory scene is the first and only scene of female cast involvement throughout the running time of about two hours until the ending scene with Navy Corpsman Danielle Albert.

Hanks, portrayed as a selfless, calm and concerned Captain for his crew, is perfection, and definitely one of his finest performances of his career. He brings plot to plot with his outstanding performance, convincing the audience to see him not as Tom Hanks, but the character. Captain Phillips and his men make their best effort to escape from hijackers which, somehow, reminds me 2002’s crime thriller Road to Perdition, in which Hanks plays a concerned father making the best effort to save the life of his son form the gangsters.

Captain Phillips is well prepared for the Somali pirates and he does a little research on them while he transports his large cargo containers from the ports of Oman to Kenya. The hijackers are poor fishermen who fight with hunger every day of their lives, so they dare to do anything to fill their stomachs. The brief scene of monitoring how the pirates live will make you feel sad about their poor lives, how they are forced to fight for survival. By seeing houses they live in and their appearances will make audience understand the reason for hijacking ships in order for them to feed their families.

Sympathy of these hungry guys will not last too long after the four armed pirates land on Captain Phillips’ cargo ship. Unknown supporting cast Abdi stars as Muse, the leader among four pirates, and he surely will make you angry seeing his character on screen. Muse is the best evil character since Daniel Day Lewis’ Bill “The Butcher” Cutting in 2002’s Gangs of New York.

Evil character, Muse, is well done by newcomer Abdi; he’s so convincing it seems as if he was a real Somali pirate, or whether he has some pirate experiences in his real life. Abdi is an excellent choice of director Greengrass; no one can replace his part. He has a unique appearance, and also he can bring the audiences with his strong impressions and strange accent till the end. He can make it possible to equalize with Tom Hanks in every scene they are together. Captain Phillips will prove that this man can really act. So there is no wonder Abdi is nominated for Academy Award for best supporting actor in his film debut as Muse.

Phillips and his men keep their heads up and do their best to avoid the upcoming danger. Despite their best efforts, four armed pirates land on the unarmed boat. The captain cannot do anything, but just watch them climb on to his boat with their hungry eyes.

Captain Phillips makes some negotiation with Muse; however, failing of negotiation between Phillips and Muse leads to Phillips being kept as a hostage in order to make a ransom. Near the end of the movie, Tom Hanks again does his Cast Away style swimming shirtless in the sea, but this time he swims in the sea escorted by a Navy Seal Group.

Muse’s quote “I’m the Captain now!” which he said in the first meeting with Captain Phillips is the best line in the entire movie and will make everyone uneasy. This intense thriller is beautifully written and full of excellent dialogue.

The editing is also fantastic; it simply is Oscar worthy. Captain Phillips is one of the best edited movies of the year. The entire movie goes with non-stop action from beginning to end.

Overall Captain Phillips is done a pretty good job in cinematography with perfectly and carefully designed of the whole reconstructions. Handheld cameramen also make fine shots when they capture the right time of the characters’ impressions most obviously in shouting and arguing scenes of characters. Sound effects make the movie more intense thriller that will make you grind your teeth.