Robert S. McNamara, former Secretary of Defense of the USA in the 1960s, said that the proportionality should be a rule in war – always retaliate an attack with a reaction to height – but the country, in its hegemony armaments, today has never been so far from putting this into practice. Captain Phillips, first job of director Paul Greengrass since Green Zone, 2010, it is a great movie about disproportion.

The movie adapts A Captain’s Duty, book written by Captain Richard Phillips, who in 2009 had its cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama, being held hostage by Somali pirates. Tom Hanks interprets Phillips, and the disproportion is already laying down since the first scenes: the captain is concerned with their workload, as well as their mariners, while in Somalia the relations of work – if it is that the pra call so the convening the military action that we have witnessed in the beginning – are very distinct.

The whole film if structure from this opposition: on the one hand Phillips, their safety standards, its established order and well Octopus cooked in olive oil with potatoes, and another Muse (Barkhad Abdi) mambembe leader of the pirates, and his desire to enter into suicidal capitalism which Phillips is the immediate representative.

What prevents Captain Philllips to become a movie where attention is against the disregard with which the world is Africa, in good measure, is that there is not much space for speeches – after that the premise that establishes, the rest is action. And then the oppositions become disproportionate physical even: the cargo against the lunge of Somalis, the body lung of Africans against the wall of muscles which are the marines (Greengrass shooting the military naked, before wearing them, to leave this opposition well clear).

So although we have here, reproduced, the elements which made the cinema of Greengrass unmistakable post-Bourne – the camera in hand, that shakes but you know what you’re looking for, and the soundtrack of suspense well marked, almost repetitive – Captain Philllips is a movie very particular, on account of this issue of glaring inequalities. And the director is Tom Hanks, actor associated with the bodily changes (Philadelphia, The Castaways), the perfect representation of this physical that the movie aspires.


Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman

This post was written by Jeff H.

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