A Hijacking (Kapringen)

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(out of 5)


A Danish freighter is on a routine shipping voyage to Africa when it is overcome by Somali pirates, who take the crew hostage and start making demands upon the bosses back home. Based on a true story, this efficient, stream-lined thriller gives glimpses of the situation on board with some very interesting ellipses: the ship goes from free to captured off screen, with only a phone call back home letting us know what has happened. The story focuses as much of its muscle on its captives as it does on the process of coping that the company boss goes through, trying to negotiate with the bad guys while doing his best to prevent his company from spending millions of dollars. What could have been a quick exchange turns into months of dealing and waiting as the two sides refuse to give in to each other, while the men on board the ship deal with degrading living conditions. It avoids the kind of emotional manipulation that hostage negotiation movies fall prey to, with their back stories to make bad guys more sympathetic or hints of Stockholm Syndrome on the part of the prisoners; in fact, director Tobias Lindholm restrains himself so very much that when the film finally indulges in a plot outburst in its conclusion, it only feels that much more shocking. A tight, absorbing work.


Denmark, 2012

Directed by

Screenplay by Tobias Lindholm

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  TIFF 2012

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