A Hijacking (2012)

Original Title





Tobias Lindholm




Pilou Asbæk, Søren Malling, Dar Salim, Roland Møller, Gary Skjoldmose, Abdihakin Asgar, Keith Pearson, Amalie Ihle Alstrup


The crew of a Danish cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates who proceed to engage in escalating negotiations with authorities in Copenhagen.


Since several years ago I watched Paul Greengrass's Captain Phillips and enjoyed it, I decided to give A Hijacking a try, and it was worth the shot. Lindholm's film is indeed a tense and gripping thriller, maybe even better than its American "twin brother".

I said twin brother because, for those of you who don't know them, they are basically the same movie.Sorry, what I really meant is that they share the same plot because, frankly, the two movies couldn't be any more different. Lindholm's film is pretty much the opposite of the clichéed hostage drama Hollywood got us used to.

It does not rely on the action to keep the audience engaged, but it builds suspense and drama through two characters and their emotional and psychological condition. The two characters are Mikkel, one of the hostages on the ship, and Peter, the CEO of the company who owns the ship and negotiates the crew's release. It's shown both the psychological distress of the hostage and the CEO, the latter trying not to be emotionally involved and just do his job. Also, these two characters are brought to life with depth by Pilou Asbæk and Søren Malling. Lindholm's psychological approach is what makes this film feel real and a great drama as well.

Then there are the shooting locations that provide the film with even more realism - the hijacking part was shot on a real hijacked boat off the Somalian coast, and the offices are those of a real shipping company. The photography and the dramatic score emphasise even more the realism of the film.

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