A Hijacking (Kapringen)
Reviewed by Mitchell Burns

Director: Tobias Lindholm                         Starring: Pilou Asbeak                        Country: Denmark
                                              Soren Malling                           
                                                             Lars Vestergaard                                    
                                                                     Abdihaken Asgar                                        
                                                                                    Amalie Ihle Alstrup                                                    


A Hijacking is a Danish film, Denmark has already released one of my favorite movies of 2013 (The Hunt), I will forever keep an eye on Denmark’s future film releases. A Hijacking is 2013’s 2nd Somali pirate movie, Tom hanks’ Captain Phillips being the first, This Pirate movie being quite a bit different. 

A Hijacking tells the story of a band of Somali pirates taking over a cargo ship, the MV Rozen, and demand a ransom from the company’s CEO.  The ships cook, Mikkel, becomes our main character out of the ship’s crew, and the main character back in the offices is the companies CEO Peter. 

The story cuts back and forth between the crew of the ship, and the company that owns the container ships; this itself provides for some interesting and unique storytelling. Occasionally we are left out of high tension situations and left to guess what is happening back on the ship, we don’t even get to see the initial takeover of the MV Rozen. At first, this may cause for some frustration with the audience, me being one of them, but it’s quite clear that the filmmakers were aiming for a slow burn and it works well. 


Captain Phillips gets into the action and the tension is high right from the beginning, in A Hijacking, both the action and tension are built slowly, a little too slowly in my opinion, but it works by the end. A Hijacking feels authentic, the process of trying to save the crew of the ship seems real, it’s a lengthy process and it doesn’t make anyone out like an action hero. A hijacking seems more accurate than the events of Captain Phillips, yet Captain Phillips is the true story here. 

I can’t move on without discussing the acting in this movie, you won’t know the names of any of these actors, but their acting is marvelous. The standout in my eyes is CEO Peter, played by Soren Malling, his character starts out almost unlikeable, his actions seem selfish, but all of the changes as the situation, and his character, progress. The ships cook, played by Pilou Asbeak, is just as great of an actor, his character goes through a completely different journey than peters, you can’t help but feeling for Mikkel every step of the way. Peter and Mikkel’s wives are two completely different characters, and they both play them very well. Mikkels wife (Amalie Ihle Alstrup) is incredibly emotional, while Peter’s wife (Linda Laursen) is completely indifferent towards the emotional struggle he is experiencing. 

A Hijacking is also perfectly shot, the opening scenes before the pirates take over give us some moments on the boat that are incredibly filmed. Afterwards, it’s hard to find the beauty in board rooms or ships cargo holds, but the filming is still quite adequate, finding ways to show not too much, and not too little. 

A Hijacking has a lot to offer, if you can give it a chance, the tension builds in ways movies don’t very often offer us.


 My Grade:  A-


Thanks for Reading,

Mitch Burns, The Hollywood Persona

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