The Finest Hours

Based on a true story…If a film contains this phrase you can be sure I’ll cry.

“The Finest Hours” is an action thriller by Craig Gillespie based on real events. The historical drama is about a crew of four coast guards who set out to rescue 30 surviving sailors of a fast-sinking ship. The clue, they are trapped in a massive winter storm with giant waves as far as the eye can see. In the main roles, Chris Pine as Bernie Webber, Casey Affleck as Ray Sybert and Holliday Grainger as Miriam.

Notably good in his role was Casey Affleck who was also by far the most interesting character due to his subtle acting and staying in the background while obviously being the smartest on board. The characters of Chris Pine and Holliday Grainger on the other hand are almost a typical couple and as predictable as the story itself often. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t thrilling, the oppressive atmosphere of the storm and monster waves cracking against the walls of the sinking ship made it pretty gripping. Combined with the fact that the story is based on real events, the film cuts a fine figure.

Even so, the thing I’ll remember most from this film will be the shanty “Haul Away Joe”. Since playing “Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag” and watching “Pirates of the Caribbean” I have fallen in love with shanties sung by the crew while I was sailing on the digital Caribbean Sea or listening to the men and women -accused of conspiring with pirates- on their way to the gallows.

“Away! HO! Haul away, we’ll haul away together, Away Haul Away, we’ll haul away, Joe”

However, the greatest part of “The Finest Hours” is, like in most historical dramas the fact that it’s not a fictional story and that real people lived through that. Although there is always a little artistic freedom in the way those stories are brought on screen, they still remain real and that’s what touches me every time and leaves me with such happiness and satisfaction. For that reason, it’s not a surprise that the historical drama “Hacksaw Ridge” is one of my favourite movies. “The Finest Hours” may not be as fantastic as “Hacksaw Ridge”, but it is a good representative of this genre which I appreciate more than a few others.