'The Finest Hours' review: Like a good thriller, it builds up excitement, tension and suspense credibly
Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz, and Eric Bana
What lies in the deep dark depth of an ocean is still a mystery. The currents and wrath of waves can destroy even the mightiest of ships, but not the courage and will power to live, as shown in 'The Finest Hours'. The film is based on a book inspired by the most courageous coast guard rescue operation, 'The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue' by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman'.
Directed by Craig Gillespie, this Walt Disney production stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz, and Eric Bana. The storyline is gripping and makes you feel the danger and emotional turmoil each character is going through, very intricately. The film starts on a very romantic, slow pace and gains momentum as the entire East coast is hit by a snow storm. What stays in your head is everything you are watching onscreen - a true account of the 1952 United States Coast Guard rescue of the SS Pendleton, after it split apart during a nor'easter off the New England coast.
The film has been released in 3D, which make the storm-hit sea even more fierce and alive. You can't help but dive in as Barnie Webber along with his team take on to rescue 32 people from the wretched ship. The graphics appeal you in all the water sequences, but the story doesn't. Keeping the rescue operation aside, the film feels stretched at parts and you keep anticipating for the thrill to set in and take you back on the sea.
Talking about the actors, Chris Pine as Daniel Webber and Casey Affleck as Ray Sybert are the 'heroes' of the film. While Sybert keeps the hopes alive for the crew members of the torn ship, Webber, on the other hand is there to fulfill is duty and redeem himself of his past. Pine as Webber is shy, doubtful of himself and a man who follow rules on everything, from duty to marriage. His transformation into a bold, intuitive leader while on the sea is commendable and stays with you long after the film is over. The setup of 50's is appealing and Holliday Grainger as Miriam is good. She is independent, outgoing and doesn't believe in the 'set space' for women. Her confidence and optimism is infectious.
The storm sequences have been shot brilliantly and keep you at the edge of your seat the whole time. Somewhere during the film you might realise that a long time has passed with you staring at the screen without blinking your eyes. Your heart reaches out to the crew stuck in the ship and to the Coast Guard team who are forced to find them in a deadly storm on a 12 seater lifeboat, CG 36500.
Leaving the few stretched on ground moments, the entire film is a nature versus man thriller, where courage wins over all odds. Go for this one if you loved the 'The Perfect Storm', this one will take you back on that dreaded journey to the sea. As Miriam puts it in the film, "It's not the water that scares me but what lies beneath it."
Rating: 3.5 out of 5