Captain Phillips ****
"You have to be strong to survive." This is made clear in foreboding tone Captain Phillips played by Tom Hanks shortly before leaving his wife to deal with a new stage of work away from home in the sea. A distant sea. Because the seas are always away from home in the life of a sailor. They are the opposite of home. The last redoubt where adventure survives as always was on this planet that new communication technologies make us think that it has become very small but still enormous. Paul Greengrass gives those first moments of its history an almost documentary like something out of a story for television about real lives.
The same is true of pirates led by Muse, played by Barkhad Abdi . The director devotes equal time to show the beginning of his journey as a pirate, recruitment, boats on the shore ... Applying maximum simplicity to a narrative style report gives us a lot of information about how piracy networks in Somalia . Their motivations . Their desires and interests.
The main success of Captain Phillips is that with these early stages and is defined as an adventure story all the way, but without Manichaeism topics without heroes and villains. Despite what he says the tagline of the film in Spain ( "Nobody chooses to be a hero " ), its characters inhabit not white or black, but gray. And the viewer knows the story from the point of view of Western sailors and pirates. In fact, as viewers we experience chasing the boat with the pirates while the experience of being persecuted.
Another interesting detail is the hybridization maneuver film genres that Paul Greengrass presents us with great skill. The film begins as a plot of adventures based on real events. But half of footage, once contact is made between the two protagonists, the U.S. captain and the pirate, begins to change to become a competent exercise of suspense.
The third success of the film is that at that time, when it would have been very easy to get carried away by the melodrama and put on a show to escape without more, choose instead to continue to observe herself respecting its characters and situations. Captain Phillips hits resigning to become another installment of morbid events page and continues to maintain the same tone of sobriety. No intrepid military introduced that can steal the spotlight at kidnapped and the kidnappers. No plot outputs easy or free heroism action movie. None of Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin saving the day in Delta Force (Menahem Golam, 1986 ). The contrary. Rescuers are shown almost like a firing squad, with all readings that carries with it such an image.
That seriousness in the proposal is present from the time after the speech about strength, survival and the world that we are leaving our children in the West, the film connects with the world of survival where hackers live Somalis. What's whole critique on how we see the world from us and how they see it from the opposite side.
If movie plot development is a cross of genres from adventure and intrigue, with regard to its subject is an example of cross-cultural and looks. The first world's look at the third world and the third world returns that look. And in this clash of two worlds discovered that all to one side or another, we are on the edge of the abyss. Captain Phillips gets to look to the bottom of that abyss and feel dizzy, using a type of narrative that hits the camera to the characters and visually puts us inside the action at all times. But it also has all the elements of intrigue film. We are invited to a hunting game in which we are both hunters and prey, victims and executioners.
The first hour of movie passes without you knowing about. We are totally into the action. Then the change of situation in the kidnapping and the coming into play of Navy ship of the United States is produced with a fluidity that opens new possibilities to the story and characters but as I said before without steal the spotlight captain and pirates. Also with regard to the pirates, develops an interesting subplot about the struggle for power within the group of attackers, which adds more intrigue to the end of the story .
And hovering over all this , at all times , the same idea of the clash of cultures without falling into the trap of Manichaeism event page , as exemplified by the dialogue between the captain and the pirate who leaves everything pretty clear :
Phillips : There must be another way to make a living for a fisherman than kidnapping people .
Muse : Perhaps in America. Perhaps in America ...
By the way, I said that Hanks is postulated to be nominated for an Oscar, finish the job with the medical examination, but do not lose sight of his co -star in this story, Barkhad Abdi, whose work reminded me at all times Lamberto Maggiorani in the classic Italian neorealism Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948 ). He deserves his own nomination to be a real punch really.
Miguel Juan Payán
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