Trusting My Son’s Taste in Movies – the trailer for Captain Phillips – Day 39

Earlier today E asked if I would take him to the YMCA so he could play basketball. I dropped him off with plans to pick him up later in the afternoon. I was quite surprised when he called me to pick him up earlier. Apparently, the gym was being used for an indoor soccer tournament. I could see his disappointment as I approached him to take him home.

While driving home, I told E that D was down for a nap so perhaps there was time for us to do something special and fun. He requested a movie afternoon at home. Sounded like a perfect plan to me.

He browsed through the selection of movies and we contemplated a number of titles — Despicable Me 2, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Butler — then we saw Captain Phillips. E stopped there. He remembered wanting to see the movie when it was in theatres, but not getting the opportunity. Neither of us had watched it……mom and son time AND completing a first. Winning!

E brought in snacks to enjoy while he laid on the couch and I settled into the recliner. He and I were both riveted with the movie based on the true story of a ship overtaken by Somali pirates which then took the Captain hostage in a life boat. I have yet to see Tom Hanks in a movie where I did not believe him to be brilliant. Before the pirates took over, his character may have been described as standoffish, focused, introverted. It seemed quite different from any other role I’ve seen him play. He is so believable in any role.

One aspect of the movie which surprised me but I thought great was the background and attention given to the pirates. Many times books and movies make antagonists rather flat and one dimensional. They are simply bad guys and have been led into the action of the plot for greedy, self-serving reasons. However, the best stories, in my opinion, are those where the characters — good and bad guys — are more complicated. These pirates looked as if they were in a culture, situation, environment in Somalia that left few, if any, options other than piracy. Even E felt sympathy for some of the pirates while also wanting to see justice prevail.

In the end, this was a great way to spend the afternoon. E and I both enjoyed it tremendously. I would be interested in finding out how much of the movie was fictionalized or exaggerated as compared to the true story which occurred in 2008.


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