It was the opening gala of the London Film Festival and I just went where they told me to be, so I ended up at the Captain Phillips premiere. I had not heard, seen any trailer or read anything about it beforehand. I just knew that it stars Tom Hanks and I was keen to get a glimpse of him. I was not prepared for that film.
The name of the director rang a bell to me, Paul Greengrass, but I could not quite put my finger on what it was. It was when I started feeling nauseous during the film that I felt like I had been through that before. I’m talking about United 93 which is the only film in my cinema-goer history that made me physically ill and frightened. He has an incredible talent to bring the audience right in the middle of the unfortunate events and to say that the film keeps you at the edge of your seat is an understatement.
Back to Captain Phillips: it talks about the captain of a cargo boat that unavoidably has to sail around the Somali coast and sooner or later, he knows he will probably have an encounter with the notorious pirates that infested those waters. So from the moment they board the ship, get ready to experience his fear and terror first hand. The fact that Tom Hanks brings an incredible performance makes it even worse. The unpredictability of the pirates automatically bring you in Phillips’s shoes and as you walk out of the cinema there is a chance you will be just as speechless and shocked as he is (keep an eye out for the final scene, it’s truly remarkable, and only Hanks is able to bring that emotion as flawless).
…it puts the USA in a very interesting light…
The film is intense. VERY intense and it puts the USA in a very interesting light, that of the big bad wolf dressed in grandma’s nightgown. Even though when the pirates first hear that they have to deal with an American ship, they assume they boarded a gold mine, but the end, it just proves how poorly prepared they were to deal with the American viciousness to save one of their own.
Paul Greengrass brings another powerful story to the screens and Tom Hanks does not seem to ever disappoint. A fantastic cinematic experience that will leave you speechless.