Film review: A Hijacking (15)


This hostage drama from Denmark has the same DNA (Dark National Angst) as its television serials: it is complicated, it is intelligent, it is the very antithesis of Hollywood.

A cargo vessel is hijacked in the Indian Ocean by Somali pirates, who use the ship's cook (Pilou Asbaek) to negotiate with the shipping company's CEO (Soren Malling). The families of the hostages sweat and fret, but the pirates are ready for a long game.

Weeks turn to months. Tension gives way to boredom, though for the cook and his mates the terror is ever-present when someone has a machine-gun trained on them. Director Tobias Lindholm has pedigree – a writer on Borgen, a co-writer on Vinterberg's

The Hunt – and shuttles rivetingly between the cook and the CEO, both reaching the end of their tether, albeit in different circumstances.

The hard-won authenticity is marked in the casting of Gary Skjoldmose, the negotiator brought in by the shipping company – Mr Skjoldmose turns out to be a corporate security manager who deals with Somali piracy as a profession. Pretty good actor, too.