September 27, 2013

NYFF 13'- Captain Phillips Review : "I'm the Captain Now"

My NYFF 2013 kicked off with a press screening of Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks. Captain Phillips, based on the actual events of Captain Richard Phillips, who was taken hostage by Somalian Pirates back in 2009, has to be one of the most intense films I have seen in a very long time. There isn’t a second that goes by where you’re not completely on edge. I squirmed in my seat as I watched Phllips go through hell and back, knowing that he could be killed at any moment.

Hanks’s portrayal of  Captain Phillips is nothing short of excellent. There is a sincerity to his performance, which makes you worry about his safety throughout the entire movie. His performance elevates until it hits a boiling point in the last 10 minutes of the movie (a scene which alone should get him a nomination.)

One actor who is getting major buzz is newcomer is Barkhad Abdi who plays Bilal. Once a limo driver, he is now in talks for a nomination! Amazing, since this is his very first acting role. From the way he presents himself, to his interactions with Hanks, you are always on your toes. The movie gives no room to breathe, and that's what I loved so much about it. Not sure how much creative license the film took from the real situation, but it did keep me focused for the 2 hours and 14 minutes.
The problem I had with the film, however, is that I feel that everything starts off strong in the first half, flatlines a bit in the middle, and doesn’t pick back up until the very end.  Despite the massive amount of tension involving Hanks’ life or death situation, I couldn’t help but check the time several times throughout the screening. It did start to get a bit repetitive at points, which made the time feel a bit longer as well.

As you would expect, Tom Hanks was an actual treasure. He answered, press questions with charm and humor (and made a dig about how much he hated stupid interview questions. Don't we all, Tom.) He discussed his experince filming on water and how he prepared to play the role of Phillips.

I, honestly, don't expect this film to sweet the awards season, but at the very least they will get nominations for acting, directing, and maybe camera work as well. Captain Phillips was definitely an excellent way to start NYFF 13.

No comments:

Post a Comment