I underestimated Phillips (Hanks) at the start of the film. Captain of a cargo ship, they portrayed him as the average Joe, the family man, who isn't all that charming, charismatic, or witty, and is stuck doing something he isn't particularly fond of. A grizzly, grey man who has gone through enough of the same monotony and has clearly accepted that.
You slowly begin to warm up to his character as he's underestimated by his second in hand and the rest of the crew. Initial concerns rise as he leads his ship through waters highly populated with pirate activities; a warning email sets him off to go through defensive drills.
I was impressed by Hanks' character development; the quick wit and stealthy cleverness that he executes in humble desperation. He definitely does not fit the regular hero mold, but you begin to see that he might just surpass that in his quick decision making and the strength he finds in his weakness, and his kindness.
The pace was perfect; just the right amount of fast and slow. Slower at the details, faster when necessary. As for the acting, I can't even begin to describe how well the cast worked together, and how authentically real, and sensitive they all were towards the tribute. Vulnerable, sublime acting.
A question of power. Four armed men and one unarmed hostage; what defines power? Who was really helpless here? Politically, philosophically, this film deals with so many themes to discuss. I found a brilliant writer at the Film School Rejects website who explains it more eloquently than I ever could: click click
I was traumatized after watching Hanks' trauma at the final scene. If I could stop time and space just to fully immerse myself mind, body and soul in his acting, I would. The tear ducts are at it still just thinking about it.
Stellar acting, brilliant directing and a great story. Definitely one for the watching, and the best movie I've seen all year.