From his fine performance in the Forrest Gump (1994) to last year’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019), Tom Hanks impresses me in every film due to his versatility and by being faithful to the given character. His latest film, a World War II battle in the ocean Greyhound (2020) got released in Apple TV+ recently and the film was 100% about Tom Hanks. [If you have bought any Apple device say iPhone or iPad within the last year, you can activate a free one year subscription for Apple TV+ in India too].
During WWII, a convoy of 37 Allied ships carrying merchandise and stocks were travelling from the USA to Britain. The ships escort were led by a destroyer ship USS Keeling (aka Greyhound) commanded by Commander Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks). The ships are relatively safe till they have got Air cover, but are vulnerable to the dreaded German U-Boat submarines and their torpedoes. How the Greyhound, along with a Canadian and British battle ships outmaneuver and destroy the several U-Boats that come hunting for them constantly across the three days the convoy travels without aircover.
It is unbelievable on how destructive the U-Boats were on the allied forces, almost 3000 Allied ships were sunk by them, and with just 1162 U-Boats the Germans dominated the oceans for a long period in the war.
The screen play was about what happens inside the Greyhound, there was just one flashback, and, there were no perspectives presented from the other ships or from the enemies. None of the German ships or their sailors were even shown. I enjoyed this style. The movie had a few interesting moments, every time the captain moves away from the bridge, a communication chain of staff gets setup and keeps following him, ready to relay messages to him and the commands from him orally – amazing technique by the navy’s to avoid delays – this technique to relay messages may have been inspired from the Red Americans smoke signals or from the 25,000 watchtowers of Great wall of China used to relay messages.