Title – A Hijacking (2012)
Director – Tobias Lindholm (R)
Cast – Pilou Asbaek, Soren Malling, Roland Moller, Abdihakin Asgar
Plot – When Danish cargo ship the MV Rozen is hijacked by a crew of Somali pirates it sets forth an ordeal for men of the ship including the ships chef Mikkel (Asbaek) and the at home shipping company CEO Peter (Malling).
“Time is a Western thing. It means nothing to them”
Review by Eddie on 15/09/2014
Reaching Western shores around the same time as a much more higher profile hijacking picture with a certain star actor, Danish director Tobias Lindholm’s A Hijacking (or Kapringen in its native language) is an equally taut and affecting tale of people caught up in these horrifying scenarios and also looks at the other side with those affected by the ordeal even though they are safe on land.
As is the case with many foreign films, Lindholm’s feature doesn’t include your typical Hollywood styled lead turn as he is more interested in the scenario than the people. It’s a bold choice of direction but one that holds the story in good stead as we’re never sure what just may happen to the characters or how they may react making emotional payoffs and event culminations all the more shocking and real. The films focus is really on two men in the forms of Pilou Asbaek’s on board chef Mikkel and Soren Malling’s shipping company CEO Peter and both these men deliver really fine performances in roles that require varying ranges of emotions and demeanour. These lead actors are well backed up by Abdihakin Asgar and Roland Moller as the pirate’s translator Omar and ships engineer Jan respectively.
While these actors are all on fine form it’s the direction that the films story takes that transcends it to a more moving experience. While Captain Phillips was moving for other reasons, A Hijacking’s focus on the negotiation between corporate suits and desperate pirates is an exceptional one that will have you mad at the playing with people’s lives and joyful at small wins in equal measure and it’s a real testament to Lindholm that he balances the ordeal on ship and in the offices of multi-million dollar corporations to such effective degrees.
Minimalistic in many ways with barely any backstory, flashy filming techniques or even music to accompany the events taking place, A Hijacking is a very raw and real look into a frightening situation that can happen anywhere in the world. With top quality acting and a razor sharp script (Lindholm also wrote the fantastic The Hunt, so this is no one off) this is one foreign film worth tracking down and different enough from Captain Phillips to recommend another trip to the dangerous pirate infested high seas.
4 fax’s out of 5