Film: Captain Phillips

Film or TV
Minimalist poster for Captain Phillips

Minimalist poster for Captain Phillips by Daniel C. Tuck

I finally watched CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (2013), the movie that’s based on Captain Richard Phillips book, A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea that goes into the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS was an engrossing depiction of the “first successful seizure of an American ship 1 since the 19th century.”

The face off between the four Somali pirates and the U.S. Navy was gripping as the Obama administration wanted to send a clear message to pirates attacking American ships on international waters that this will not be tolerated. The show of American power out on the high seas was great.

Of course I did some reading on the real event online. The movie naturally is a dramatic version of “true” events. The crew has spoken out about the depiction of Captain Phillips, saying he wasn’t all that “heroic.” This is Hollywood. I’m not sure the real life Captain Phillips would have had no control in how he would be portrayed on screen. Hollywood likes to make feel good movies showing someone being heroic. From the movie, Phillips seemed to be a man who thought he could control the situation. Its said that he ignored several alerts about a possible piracy situation and his rationalization for ignoring them was that no matter where they were on the ocean they were still at risk. Phillips came off as a natural leader who knew how to run his crew and they followed him.

I’ll echo the media pundits about the performance of Barkhad Abdi portraying the pirate leader, Muse, as being memorable and saying those famous words to Captain Phillips: “I’m the captain now” I learned from someone else that he ad libbed those words? I didn’t know that and I didn’t look it up to see if its true. I confess to rewinding that scene many times because it conveys just how precarious their situation had become. Overall the movie was good. I loved everything about it. Both Col and Prashant mentioned this film on their respective blogs and recommended it and this post is my way of saying thanks to them both. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d have watched it or sought it out on my own.

The pic credit for this post goes to Daniel C. Tuck. He graciously let me use his minimalist poster for my review in lieu of the movie poster. Daniel loved the movie as well and did his own review of it that you can read here. For new visitors, on the occasional Sunday, I like to mention film or TV shows I’ve enjoyed. Thanks for reading.


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10 Comments

  1. So glad you enjoyed it, Keishon. I’d been planning to see it anyway, and now you’ve convinced me that I won’t regret it.

    • Keishon says

      Hope you find it as good as many of us did, Margot and thanks.

  2. Great review, Keishon. Not sure that this is a film I care to see, but I might want to see it just for the performances.

    • Keishon says

      Tom Hanks et al, were great. It wasn’t a film I cared to see either but I’m glad I did.

  3. Keishon, thank you for the mention. I agree CAPTAIN PHILLIPS was “engrossing” and I’m hoping to read the book by the real Captain Phillips. I think the Somali pirates fell within the purview of America’s policy of no negotiations with terrorists.

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