That Is Not It, That Is Not It At All

Please note: The following is about the movie Captain Phillips. I don’t believe it contains any spoilers, especially since the ending is a foregone conclusion. Some may not agree with me, so be warned.

I feel impelled and qualified to write this for three reasons. First and weakest, I have a degree in film with a screenwriting emphasis. Second, my wife and I and four friends survived being carjacked in Kenya a year ago June. Though it was not on the scale of this film, some scenes may have resonated with us more than with other people. This knowledge may surprise some when they reach my conclusion.

Finally, I am a human being, the same as everyone in the movie, everyone in the theater and everyone else in the world, rather they read my words or not. So let’s begin.

Like Little Children

Like Little Children

That Is Not It, That Is Not It At All

Some will say the main strength of the movie, Captain Phillips
Is the rescue of an American sea captain and international crew
The tension and the action, which you feel is happening to you
Though this is all true, happens. That is not it, that is not it at all

Though they will believe, tell others, the Somali pirates are brutal
Feel that anything and everything they get, they truly will deserve
View the Navy Seals and crews heroic, able to meet this great test
Though this is all true, happens. That is not it, that is not it at all

Captain Phillips will be seen as stalwart, buying time to hide his crew
You will see member of his crew take risks that may cost their lives
You will gasp, sigh, gnaw your knuckle, shiver and sweat cold bullets
Though this is all true, happens. That is not it, that is not it at all

People will come away sure it’s courage, outrage, fear and danger
Be mislead by warships, pirates, automatic weapons, daring chases
Admire subterfuge, compassion, insanity, clever banter, great acting
Though this is all true, happens. That is not it, that is not it at all

The core of this story is humanity, ourselves, in all our varied guises
It shows the need for people to do many things they’d rather not
Captain, crew and pirates all take the test. Some succeed, some fail
How each mirrors the other, no matter what we believe or imagine

The pirates not evil incarnate, not completely blameless, blameworthy
The captain and crew, brave and afraid not selfless or courageous only
All people like us with homes and families, dreams, hopes and desires
Nothing is ever simply black and white, no matter how clear it seems

Perhaps the most telling line, though you may not remember it too well
Everybody has bosses, a truth that may be ignored or lost in the stress
More powerful than I or you, they take the best and richest for themselves
Despite inequity, degradation, shame, we’re told to be happy with the dross


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