Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Captain Phillips

I love pirate movies from silent era through Flynn to Polanski to Depp. Just love the genre. Very powerful to see the kind of crazy daring and violence done so disturbingly around fear. I love the puzzle-solving. Hanks is always watchable and strong…, but this was different.

This really has been a season of sad movies. To see the comparison of despair in Somalia laid next to films of despair like OUT  OF THE FURNACE and so many others. I loved the ship in the movie. Having grown up beside those kinds of container ships I love the familiar colours of the rust, of the metal paint, the sheer confusing massiveness of them…(try kayaking in a harbour front full of those moving mammoths!…that’s life in Vancouver). One time as a kid in Kitimat… Our family got to spend an evening on a huge ship like the one in movie… And we had a huge dinner with the captain and a tour… And we watched a movie on board. Movies were a huge part of the culture on the ship. I was fascinated that they had reels of movies, a projector and a theatre. …guess what? I still remember what movie my sister and I watched…”butterflies are free”.

I thought it was so magical they had a movie library! This was before home movie systems and it just seemed so decadent. I guess my point here is that this kind of contrast between a ship like the Maersk Alabama in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (so much more high tech now…) To the tech the pirates use. I felt real sick fear when the pirates pull up to the ship and just toss a wiry ladder and board. At that moment the resourcefulness and simplicity of the pirates is utterly frightening.

And it’s so sad how the economic implications play out in the movie. We go for oil in Somalia and then command these huge vessels right past them… So rude. What do we expect?

However the life and death game the captain has to play with the pirates is very exciting. And the viewer can bond with both the captive and captors is so well done.

I broke down to tears when he is rescued. Hanks state of shock was so real feeling. His understated acting was perfect. 


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