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New Release Review - A Hijacking

A Danish ship is hijacked by Somali pirates.

Directed by: Tobias Lindholm
Starring: Pilou Asbæk, Søren Malling, Dar Salim, Gary Skjoldmose Porter

Danish cargo ship, MV Rozen, is sailing through the Indian Ocean when a gang of Somali pirates seize the vessel. News quickly reaches the company offices in Copenhagen where the decision is made to bring in an outside adviser, Connor Julian (Porter), an Englishman with experience in dealing with pirates. Julian suggests the best course is to hire a professional negotiator but company C.E.O Peter Ludvigsen (Malling) ignores his advice and insists on handling matters himself. When an initial cash offer fails to satisfy the demands of the hijackers, the situation escalates.
Lindholm was responsible for writing duties on last year's excellent 'The Hunt', and here takes his sophomore directorial bow, proving himself something of a master of tense, yet realistic, drama. For a long time, Danish cinema was associated with the extravagances of film-makers like Lars Von Trier and Nicholas Winding Refn, but a new wave of gritty realism is sweeping the country's cinematic landscape. 'A Hijacking' is the first of two movies we'll see in 2013 dealing with this topic, as Paul Greengrass' Tom Hanks vehicle, 'Captain Phillips', is due later this summer. I'm not going out on much of a limb by theorizing Lindholm's film will be the more subtle of the two, as it's an underplayed, yet all the more tense for it, realistic piece of high drama.
It would have been all too easy to make the Peter character the villain and portray him as someone who cares more about the company coffers than the lives of his workers. Lindhom resists this, making Peter a reluctant hero. Malling is fantastic in the role, an actor with the ice cold exterior of a future Bond villain, and one I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of, outside of his homeland. As the situation escalates from weeks to months, his calm exterior slowly and subtly breaks down; there are no Hollywood histrionics on display here. The entire ensemble are thoroughly convincing as real characters, dealing with a horrific scenario in their own unique ways.
'A Hijacking' is another quality piece of drama from a country punching above its weight.
7/10


Eric Hillis

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