Watching the BAFTAs inspired me to catch up with some recent award winners – Captain Phillips’ actor Barkhad Abdi was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his role as Muse, the young leader of a group of Somali pirates.
The film is based on the true story of an American commercial cargo ship boarded by pirates whilst navigating between Djibouti and Mombasa. The pirates are desperate, but young, volatile and disorganised. Their composure deteriorates throughout the kidnapping; they turn on each other in violent outbursts. When they capture Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) in the ship’s lifeboat as they try to flee, the American Navy mobilises its considerable forces in an attempt to save him and end the stand-off with his captives.
Although I sensed that there must be a positive outcome for Phillips, it was by no means a given. The traumatised captain at the end of the movie is testament to the shocking experiences he has undergone and there are no winners. The film is a grim reminder of the downside of globalisation, with the divisions it creates.
It’s a tense thriller with a fair amount of violence. I find it hard to believe that this film has a 12 certificate – to my mind, it is adult viewing.