A Hijacking [Blu-ray]
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"A Hijacking" (2012 release from Denmark; 103 min.) brings the story of the crew on a container ship which is on the Indian Ocean on its way to Mumbai, but gets hijacked by a group of Somali pirates. As the movie opens, we get to know Mikkel, the Danish cook on the ship, making a phone call to his wife and young daughter. We also get to know Peter, the CEO of the shipping company back in Denmark. We learn of the hijacking when Peter gets a note slipped in front of him during a meeting. Peter hires a consultant who has experience dealing with this particular situation. Meanwhile, back on the ship, the crew is not treated well by the pirates, and I'm being mild, as the days and weeks go by, while the translator for the pirates and the CEO are trading phone calls over the release money. The pirates are asking a ransom of $12 million and the CEO initially counters with $250,000. Will they come to a resolution? Will the crew make it back home safely? To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Several comments: first and foremost, this is one tough and chilling, but ultimately riveting movie. The events in this movie are apparently a composite of real life events that have happened involving modern day sea piracy. Beware: this movie is not for the faint of heart. The crew gets subjected to all kinds of physical and psychological abuse by the pirates. There are a number of scenes for which I simply closed my eyes, there is no "Hollywood sugarcoating" in this movie!Read more ›
The Danes don't have the military might of America to come to their rescue so the give and take between pirate negotiator Omar (Abdihakin Asgar) and Peter (Soren Malling) create the primary focus. But this isn't one of those quickly negotiated settlements. It lasts 7 months. Seven months of hell for the crew of the Rozen and their families. The brutality of the pirates is mostly limited to psychological mistreatment, compounded by a lack of food, water and sanitation. And Lindholm lays it all out there for the viewer to experience.
The captain of the ship becomes ill, so Lindholm centers in on the ship's cook, Mikkel (superb Pilou Asbaek). His original upbeat persona gives way to deep depression as isolation and deteriorating conditions take their toll. The film splits its time between being on the ship and being in the corporate boardroom. Like most financial negotiations, it's just a matter of time as the two side each throw figures at each other that will eventually get the crew released. Just what is the price for their freedom?
While the pirates are certainly seen as bad guys, they do have moments of humanity. This is most evident when the crew persuades the pirates to allow them to fish off the side of the ship. This brings in a nice catch which crew and captors both celebrate. Alas, the pirate's soon resort to their jobs of intimidation. This isn't an easy film to watch at times. As I said, it plays like a real life documentary.
Tobias Lindholm both wrote and directed "A Hijacking". The ship's scenes were genuinely filmed on a ship, for which the audience is grateful once we get out of the cramped quarters to which the hostages have been confined. I was pretty glad to see the sea and sunshine too. Mikkel interacts primarily with his captors and with the Captain (Keith Pearson), who has taken ill, and the friendly Chief Engineer (Roland Møller). It's a good performance, but Mikkel's arc seems contrived in the end, which I think is the film's only flaw. It's Peter the CEO who got my sympathy. He is an expert negotiator who feels he can function in that role better than anyone so ignores the advice of a specialist to use an outside negotiator. In doing so, he places himself in an impossible predicament, waiting constantly for a phone call, only to refuse the pirates' demands and wait...repeatedly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An intense, part psychological hijacking thriller, with considerable time spent on the behind the scenes (back at home), concerning the negotiations. Very well acted. Read morePublished 13 days ago by ernieg
I had enjoyed watching director Tobias Lindholm's other film, 'The Hunt' , making me want to check out this one. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Raghu Nathan
This is a good movie. It's tense. The story is based on the real hijacking of a Danish ship by Somali pirates. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Wally
Umm..Yes, it has subtitles as it is a Danish movie. Umm...Yes, it relies on outstanding acting, plot development, and psychological suspense as opposed to a relentlessly loud... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Follett R
This movie IS NOT in ENGLISH. Only portions of it are in English...if you do not relish having to read the captions to understand what is going on. Read morePublished 10 months ago by SunnySideUpFlorida
Somewhat like Captain Phillips, except this is a Danish film. It was very well done! Most people have probably never heard of it, but if one likes foreign films, this is one you... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Darryl
Truly worth watching! It may be a little slow for some watchers, but it is definitely worth watching!Published 11 months ago by Danny Kwabena
Just saw this on Netflix and it kept my attention throughout . Started negotiating @500k finally settled for 3.3 mil even tho the Somali Pirates asked for 12MilPublished 17 months ago by oldermuscleguy
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