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A Hijacking: Hostage thriller turns focus to the cost of saving lives

Film still from A Hijacking, Tobias Lindholm’s verité-like tale of a Danish cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates is rivetingly low-key

Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

3 out of 4 stars

Title
A Hijacking
Written by
Tobias Lindholm
Directed by
Tobias Lindholm
Starring
Pilou Asbaek, Soren Malling
Genre
Thriller
Classification
14A
Country
Denmark
Language
English with subtitles
Year
2012

A nail-biter of a thriller that eschews conventional thrills, Tobias Lindholm's verité-like tale of a Danish cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates is rivetingly low-key.

The ship's genial cook (Pilou Asbaek) gradually unravels over the four months it takes the pirates to negotiate ransom terms with the shipping company CEO (Soren Malling), and Lindholm's movie, A Hijacking, becomes as much about the chasm separating boardroom from boat deck as it is about crime on the high seas.

While the company haggles to bring down the price for saving its employees' lives, the hostages themselves live uneasily in close quarters with their captors, a situation made more unnerving by the fact that the pirates can join in a birthday party one moment and thrust a gun barrel to a hostage's head the next.

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