by Kate Robertson
Released this month and based on a true story, Captain Phillips is cinematically a heart-wrenching thriller that captures and entrances the audience from start to finish. A US ship containing food supplies and water is hijacked by Somalian pirates, (Tom Hanks) Captain Richard Philips goes to extreme lengths in order to keep his crew safe and ultimately is taken hostage himself. The fight for survival is on and he goes up against the odds in order to stay alive.
The acting and visual aspects portrayed in Captain Philips are optically incredible; however it is the soundtrack which accompanies these that allow the film to be such a huge success. The diegetic and non-diegetic sounds enthral, taking you from the tensest and most thrilling moments, right down to the calm aftermath.
Paul Greengrass cleverly uses the African drum, completely immersing you in the Somalian heritage, to release bursts of terror for the crews safety, getting ever quicker and louder when danger is about to occur. The drum is enhanced by an eerie and shrill violin that emulates the action taking place, also changing pitch and speed in synchronicity with the drum.
From the highs to the lows, the calm repercussions of the Somalian pirates first and failed attempt at hijacking the ship, mirror the serene sound of gentle waves caressing the vessel’s exterior; providing a lull in which the viewer relaxes, before the ever building crescendo that displays a visual feast of orchestral sounds. The use of silence in this film is exceptional creating a tumult of emotions from anxiety and fear to extreme peacefulness thus completely engaging you with the characters; creating a bond that is consistent from start to finish. The theme of silence is replicated throughout the film and is a key indicator that either something devastating or wonderful is about to happen.
This film will leave you in a cascade of emotions and is utterly magnificent. 10/10.