The two main actors in the film are Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips and Barkhad Abdi as Muse. The movie is based on the Maersk Alabama Hijacking that occurred in April of 2009. I would consider the movie to be a hybrid of drama along with adventure.
The movie is based on a true event that occurred in the Indian Ocean. An American cargo ship was on its way from Oman to Kenya to deliver 17 tons worth of goods when the ship was hijacked by Somali pirates. The first important event was marked by two small pirate boats spotted by the ship’s radar following closely. This attempt to hijack the ship failed yet it alarmed the crew members of the ship. This is important because it raised the crews awareness of an emergency plan in the event of a hijacking. The next pivotal event occurred as the hijackers eventually caught up to ship and made landing, at this point holding the captain hostage and demanding cash. The following important event took place with the remaining crew members aside from the captain capturing one of the Somali hijackers and holding him hostage in retaliation. Following this, the Somali hijacker was supposed to be released in exchange for Captain Phillip’s release. This exchange did not unfold according to plan as the Captain was loaded into a lifeboat and sent to sea alongside the group of pirates. The final important moment consisted of the US Navy attempting to negotiate with the pirates in order to release Captain Phillips.
The acting in this movie was outstanding. I feel that Tom Hanks showed great poise throughout most of the film. He personified a great leader enduring a hostile situation. Abdi’s role as Muse was also very captivating as he resembled a Somali pirate physically while also displaying great emotions of victory for hijacking the ship and being simple in his motives as would a pirate in real life. His acting won him a Grammy award this year.
The set design was very realistic. A majority of the movie was shot in the ocean so the set was mobile. During the duration of the movie I felt like I was on the ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The movie explored every level of the ship from the deck outside to the different rooms inside. When the pirates took the captain hostage in the small lifeboat, I could feel the discomfort of the passengers.
I think this is one of the best films I have seen all year. The acting was awesome and the story was based on a real event. I was on pins and needles throughout. The quality of the film was equally as impressive. I feel that anyone who wants to watch a film with great acting would enjoy this film. Also, as a history enthusiast, I really enjoyed the historical aspect of the film and would recommend this film to others like myself.