Thorin N. Tatge (thorintatge) wrote,
Thorin N. Tatge

Captain Phillips

I finally watched Captain Phillips today, the 2013 film about the high-profile Somali pirate hijacking of an American ship several years earlier.  I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't see it sooner, given that two of the four actors in the featured pirate roles were from the Twin Cities.  The group's leader was played by Barkhad Abdi, a Minneapolis native who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance.  Seems reasonable to me!  Apparently the casting team had a major challenge in casting the pirates; they tried and failed to find suitable talent in the London Solami community before trying out area.  I remember a minor stir over the casting call at the library where I work, which is very popular with Somali-Americans.  No one there has mentioned knowing anyone who got cast in the movie, but I would guess there aren't very many degrees of separation.  The Teen Center showed Captain Phillips about a year ago and I got to see the ending before finally watching the entire movie today.

Yeah, it's a good movie.  Tom Hanks does well with the title role, and it's nicely suspenseful.  I haven't checked how accurate the sequence of events was, but I suspect it's accurate on all major counts.  It was educational to get a glimpse of modern shipping and naval operations.  The most entertaining thing, I guess, was seeing young Somali men in a very different setting from that in which I'm used to seeing them.  The pirates in the movie were the bad guys, of course, as in real life, but they were portrayed with a dollop of sympathy and without caricature.  I saw familiar speech patterns and personality traits to those I sometimes see with the young men (and women) I work with, including frankness, ambition, irascibility, and an intriguing sense of humor.
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