A-Hijacking-DI
2012 Running time: 99 Certificate: 15 Rating: 4
A-Hijacking-KA

Synopsis

A rusting Danish cargo ship is heading for harbour when it is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. As the empty vessel is virtually worthless, a tense, prolonged million-dollar negotiation for the lives of the crew plays out between the jittery hijackers and the hard-nosed CEO of the shipping company. Second-time director Tobias Lindholm - the writer of The Hunt and TV's Borgen - builds an almost unbearable tension as we see the crew's grim situation deteriorate through the eyes of ship's cook Mikkel (Pilou Asbaek).

Director

  • Tobias Lindholm

Cast

  • Pilou Asbæk

  • Søren Malling

  • Dar Salim

  • Roland Møller

  • Gary Skjoldmose Porter

Review

You couldn't get much further away from the buccaneering antics of the Pirates of the Caribbean than this taut tale of a modern day maritime hijacking off the coast of India.

The not-so-good ship MVP Rozen - a rusting, cargo-less tub - is sailing for port in Mumbai when it is boarded by a gang of Somali pirates bristling with AK-47s.

Seemingly oblivious to the zero value of the boat they've just seized, the highly-strung rabble put a price of $19m on the heads of the crew, including the amiable English skipper, a tough first engineer and ship's cook (Asbaek), who is making his final voyage home to his wife and child.

Back in Denmark, bullish company chief executive Peter Ludvigsen (The Killing's Soren Malling) overrules hostage negotiator Connor (real-life former British Army security expert Gary Porter) and takes over the tense barter himself.

Out on the ocean matters are further confused by Somali kingpin Omar (Asgar) a shady intermediary who claims he is only an interpreter at the mercy of the kidnappers yet appears a skilled mind games player.

Eschewing hard boiled action for an authentically gritty approach, director Tobias Lindholm creates a fuggy atmosphere of claustrophobic dread aboard the ship juxtaposed with the airy hi-tech steel and glass HQ of the shipping line.

Malling delivers a formidable performance as the consummate corporate player caught out of his comfort zone as the weeks drag on while Asbaek compellingly captures the terrified desperation of a captive who can see no end to his ordeal.

It's a disturbingly convincing scenario with Lindholm taking great care to convey the tedium of confinement and the bizarre Stockholm Syndrome-style pseudo-camaraderie of both captors and captured trapped aboard a sea-tossed tub.