Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Captain Phillips"

In this thrilling, hard-driving action film, true-life sea captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks in his boy-next-door amicable best) is portrayed as a hard-working merchant mariner – responsible first to his duty (delivering cargo) and then for protecting his crew.

Cmdr Castellano and Capt Phillips of the USS Bainbridge
The film opens with Phillips expressing his growing concern about how with today’s economy his son won’t be able to find employment. This burden distracts him from seeing the negative impact of international companies: dumping nuclear waste off of the Somali coastline and illegally trolling for fish. (A theme that too many of us can relate to. In our daily struggle to keep a job, we don’t have the time or energy to register the impact of international trade on the rest of the world.)

In a ruthlessly realistic scene, we see the results: former Somali fishermen fighting over knat (an additive, green leaf) and to be hired for the only available job – a cargo ship pirate. It is only when Captain Phillips is thrown into a life and death struggle with the pirates (lead with fierce determination by Oscar nominated Barkhad Adbi) that he begins to understand their desperation. The movie isn't overly sympathetic to the pirates as it reveals that none of their bounty will be going back to help the rest of the village.

Capt Phillips was held captive by Somali pirates in this life boat 

As with the negative relationship between the global recession and global warming, there are no easy answers. “Captain Phillips” is a must-see for the rising tension in the action and in global trade.

Movie blessings! 
Jana Segal

"Captain Phillips" also received well-deserved nominations for:  Best Adapted Screenplay (Billy Ray), Best Editing (Christopher Rouse), and Best Picture. Paul Greengrass was cheated out of a Best Director nomination. "Captain Phillips," was my pick for Best Picture in 2014.

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