July 27, 2021

Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, enters the Netflix catalog

When we talk about pirates, automatically our imagination is transported to the 16th to 18th centuries. In our minds, an image is formed of a man with an eye patch, a wooden leg and a parrot leaning on his shoulder, getting drunk on a bottle of rum. However, piracy is not limited to this period and it is precisely about a recent attack that the film Captain Phillips treats.

the real story

On April 8, 2009, Richard Phillips commanded the ship Maersk Alabama. The vessel was boarded by a group of four Somali pirates, so Phillips and his crew went through five days of tension as hostages. The captain spent most of his time captive under heavy weaponry, fearing for his life.

Barkhad Abdi as Abduwali Muse, in “Captain Phillips” – image: disclosure/Netflix

As the days passed and the pirates realized they would not make a profit on the ship, the hijackers decided to return to Somalia. However, the vessel was intercepted by US Navy marines who saved the man. The leader of the pirates, Abduwali Muse, was arrested and the other three members were killed during the rescue action.

Since then, Richard has traveled the world telling his story, having published a book entitled captain’s duty, released in Brazil by the publisher intrinsic.

the fictional story

A movie Captain Phillips was driven by Paul Greengrass and premiered in Brazilian cinemas on November 8, 2013. The protagonist was played by Tom Hanks and the leader of the pirates by the rookie Barkhad Abdi.

The feature film is based on the book by Phillips that was backstage following the recordings. Thus, both film and book are made from your point of view. The suspense presents the captain as a methodical, calm man who knows how to consider what decisions to take in the face of risks. The pirate Muse is already its opposite, very agitated, impulsive and showing no fear of carrying out his plan.

In this way, the film gives space for both sides to be highlighted, representing the two leaders and their actions.


Tom Hanks as Richard Phillips, in “Captain Phillips” – image: disclosure/Netflix

In April 2015 the Alabama crew filed a petition against the company claiming their lives were put at risk and seeking financial redress. The captain was also part of that petition. But shortly before the film was released, one of the crew even filed a lawsuit against the company, including the captain, accusing his breach of protocol as the reason for the attack.

Another controversy surrounding the release of Captain Phillips was the point of view from which the film was told. In this way, other people who have gone through the same episode claimed that the story was poorly told or that the facts were distorted to make Richard a hero.

Nominations and Awards

Greengrass’ film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Sound Editing and Mixing, Editing and Adapted Screenplay. However, he didn’t win in any category.

Even so, the title raised 220.6 million dollars during the period of exhibition, in movie theaters, and appears in the Rotten Tomatoes with a rating of 93% of critical approval and 89% of the audience.

The film is available in the catalog of Netflix.

Yasmine Evaristo

Visual artist, draftsman, majoring in Letters – Publishing Technologies. Film researcher, mainly in the fantastic genre, as well as representation and representation of black people in cinema. Devotee of the holy trinity Tarkovski-Kubrick-Lynch.