A Hijacking

Film Review by Philip Concannon | 06 May 2013
  • A Hijacking
Film title: A Hijacking
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Starring: Johan Philip Asbæk, Søren Malling, Gary Porter, Abdihakin Asgar, Dar Salim,
Release date: 10 May
Certificate: 15

The understated manner in which the taking of a cargo ship occurs in A Hijacking is indicative of Tobias Lindholm's approach to the subject. He avoids the scenes you’d expect to see in a film like this; he veers away from sensationalism at every opportunity, and instead he immerses us in the minutiae of a painfully protracted negotiation. As Danish chef Mikkel (Johan Philip Asbæk) and his shipmates cower under the guns of Somali pirates, his company’s CEO Peter (Søren Malling) attempts to haggle them down with the assistance a professional hostage negotiator (Gary Porter, who really does this for a living).

Watching this back-and-forth play out is astonishingly tense, with the actors performing as if their lives really are on the line, and Lindholm uses this scenario to make potent points about class divide and corporate responsibility. Lindholm and editor Adam Nielsen expertly capture the agonising sense of time – and hope – slowly slipping away. When the credits roll, you may feel as if you too have been released from captivity. [Philip Concannon]