The new Tom Hanks film, Captain Phillips, is getting great reviews, but the crew wants everybody to know their version of the story. Via The Guardian:
Captain Phillips ‘no hero’ in real life, say ship’s crew
Sailors who served under Phillips during hijacking of Maersk Alabama dispute captain’s actions as portrayed in Tom Hanks film
Sailors who endured the real-life attack by Somali pirates which forms the basis of Oscar-tipped thriller Captain Phillips have condemned the version of events shown in the film.
Crew members of the Maersk Alabama, which suffered the raid off the coast of lawless Somalia in April 2009, told the New York Post the titular hero played by Tom Hanks in Paul Greengrass’s critically acclaimed film was far from heroic. The sailors, who are suing their employers Maersk Line and the Waterman Steamship Corp for $50m, said Richard Phillips was a sullen, self-righteous man: their suit claims the captain’s wilful disregard for his crew’s safety contributed to the attack.
“Phillips wasn’t the big leader like he is in the movie,” said one crew member who worked closely with the captain, speaking anonymously for legal reasons. “No one wants to sail with him,” he told the Post.
The crew member said Phillips, who went on to meet Barack Obama and write a memoir, refused to cut power and lock himself and the crew below deck in line with anti-pirate protocol. “He didn’t want anything to do with it, because it wasn’t his plan,” said the crew member. “He was real arrogant.”
The rest here.
And look how Tom Hanks describes the film:
Hanks describes the movie as “non-fiction entertainment,” a genre that fascinates him. “I’m always reading newspapers and magazines and seeing a story that really happened and saying, ‘This is better than any movie could possibly be.’”
He says the book written by Phillips was “almost a screenplay already. It is a very straightforward delivery of what he went through but when it’s put up on the big screen it has all the elements that go into commercial filmmaking. It has an incredible visual vista and it takes place in an oddly glamorous locale, even though it’s a container ship. Then you’ve got this motley crew and a ragtag group of evocative protagonists. Because it actually happened, I don’t think anybody has made a movie like this before. We’ve seen quite a few fictionalised versions of what can happen when bad guys come and try and take over a ship or a plane or the White House or whatever, but we are working on today’s headlines and facing perhaps the biggest challenge a filmmaker can face – what really happened? And how do we make it so gripping that it warrants a place in what essentially is commercial entertainment?”
Which is odd because even Captain Phillips doesn’t agree with some of the movie, an admission he made to CNN.