Tom Hanks’ latest film, Captain Phillips, is based on the amazing true story of Captain Richard Phillips, whose ship was captured by Somalian Pirates in 2009.
In the film, Phillips is captain of the cargo ship, the Alabama. He travels from his home in Vermont, USA to Oman to bring a shipment of supplies to Mombasa, Kenya. During a training exercise, a boat of Somalian Pirates manage to board the ship and take over the bridge, and in the process, claim Phillips and two others as hostages.
Before they are boarded, Phillips instructs his remaining crew to stay inconspicuous. Hiding in the Engine Room, the unarmed crew leave traps for the Pirates while trying to best them in a game of wits.
The film, by Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass, is never anything less than exciting.
As leader of the pirates, Somalian actor Barkhad Abdi is being touted as an early contender for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Hanks, as usual, is terrific. His acting, particularly in the latter part of the film, is mesmerising.
The fear and worry, and later trauma, of his situation is all over his face – its a subtle, restrained and powerful performance.
Captain Phillips is a thrilling film.