Captain Phillips (2013): An Amateur’s Reaction

Captain Phillips (2013)

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

Written by:  Billy Ray, based on the novel by Richard Phillips

Starring Tom Hanks,  Barkhad Abdi

Slight spoilers ahead….

Usually, I don’t prefer to watch movies like this (a slightly strong statement to put it in to words: I was coerced to watch it) but, as I spent more time to digest the movie, the story-telling surprised me into liking it. I think that an effective movie does not just tell one message. It conveys a message with different angles to look at to probably generate a lot of thought and emotion. It is clear that what the creators of the movie Captain Phillips (2013) aimed is to dramatize the survival story of Captain Richard Phillips, the title character played by the amazing  actor Tom Hanks, and his crew under the terror of pirates, played by amazingly superb, previously unknown actors (Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, and Mahat M. Ali).

The message I got from this movie is how Captain Phillips got in touch with the humanity of the men despite the terrifying, traumatic, and nearly fatal situations they had put him (especially him) and his crew through.

This movie left me losing the faith in people (including myself) because of the way we prejudice the who we meet everyday. We never dared to ask the reasons why people do the things they do, whether the question of morality is present or not, and fail to put ourselves in the position of others that we automatically see things in extremes: good or bad. For instance, this movie explained why the pirates do what they do: they NEED money because opportunities to obtain money the righteous way in their current social and geographical position do not exist. People resort to extreme actions just to gain what is not accessible to them and because of the lack of opportunities, like education of jobs, they have a limited point of view to appreciate what needs to be appreciated, which makes them go on to participate in heinous crimes instead .

I never thought that a movie like this would let me generate deep thoughts. From this, I hope that we become more open and understanding toward the people we mingle with everyday. Once we empathize with the people we meet, there will be wider distribution of understanding, knowledge, and opportunities for all and create a more harmonious society.

This is a good film. Watch it.

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