Friday, March 8, 2013

A Hijacking (2012)

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)
A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Starring: Søren Mallin, Johan Philip Asbæk
Language: Danish, English, Somali
Duration: 99 min.
Rating: 7.5
Summary:
A Danish cargo ship headed for Mumbai is hijacked for ransom by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.
A Hijacking, is a film written and directed by Denmark's fast rising Tobias Lindholm (he also co-wrote The Hunt), derived from real events but not based on any incident in particular. It premiered in the Orizzonti section of the 2012 Venice International Film Festival. Earlier this month, it surprised everyone at the 2013 Robert Awards (the Danish Oscars), beating the odds-on favorite A Royal Affair for Best Danish Film.

The film chronicles the hijacking of Danish cargo ship MV Rozen, intercepted by Somali pirates armed with AKs, while en-route to Mumbai through the Indian Ocean. It has a split narrative, showing the progressively deteriorating conditions aboard the ship, centered mostly on the experiences of the ship's cook, Mikkel Hartmann (Johan Philip 'Pilou' Asbæk); and the ongoing negotiations taking place back home in Copenhagen, headed by company CEO, Peter C. Ludvigsen (Søren Malling, winner of Best Actor at the Robert Awards).

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)

Working with a limited budget, Lindholm wisely forgoes the temptation of staging any high seas action sequences that may end up half-assed. Instead, he focuses on escalating the dramatic tension with a strong screenplay that efficiently conveys the psychological effects of the situation in both of the narrative threads.

The stand out here is the character of Peter, played impressively by Malling. Introduced as steely presence in the boardroom, he doesn't hesitate to place the situation upon his shoulders. The emotional and psychological burden becomes intense, but he's a man who is determined to see it through till the end, whatever the personal cost.

Asbæk (who looks a bit like Ewan McGregor), also gives a compelling performance in his role as Mikkel. He begins the film as a family man only a few days away from returning home, an overall cheery, well liked figure aboard the ship. As the days pass, and the negotiations drag out, we see how the general helplessness of the traumatic ordeal gradually takes its toll on his mind and body.

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)

One interesting note of trivia about the cast, Gary Skjoldmose Porter, who plays Connor Julian, an outside expert hired to assist with the negotiations, is a non-actor who actually is a corporate security consultant in real life.

It's a tense watch that is skillfully written and economically directed by a filmmaker who maximizes the resources available to him. A Hijacking won't become a classic, but with it, Lindholm has suddenly and undeniably emerged as another exciting Danish talent to watch out for.
Bonjour Tristesse
A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)
 
A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)

7 comments:

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Great review! I was very impressed by the last Danish thriller I saw, Headhunters. This looks pretty intriguing, though I'm worried it might be too violent/intense for me.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

This one is on my list, worth a look, I suppose, even though not a classic.


I heard there is another upcoming film about hijacking directed by Paul Greengrass entitled Captain Philips (2013). It will likely be mainstream, since Tom Hanks is the lead.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Great review! This looks right up my alley. Hopefully I can find it and check it out.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It looks like it'll catch my attention and it sounds interesting enough. This one should be fun

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks Ruth. This one's not actually very violent at all. Almost all of the 'action' occurs off camera. Also, small correction, Headhunters was a Norwegian film.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I heard about that one too. But yeah judging from the names involved, I'm sure the tone and result will be completely different from this one.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks Keith. I hope you get a chance to see it soon.

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