A Hijacking is a richly layered examination of the corporate mindset via Somali pirates from Tobias Lindholm. Shot on a real once-hijacked boat off the coast of Somalia, this is realistic, understated, nuanced and gripping filmmaking. It says as much about humanities will to survive as it does big business's disregard for it. Johan Philip Asbeck is incredible as the cook on the boat struggling to deal with the desperate and dumb Somalis, no doubt driven to piracy by the disease and starvation in their country. The reviewer that said this is "amateurishly written" is a child or a <more>
moron. Also check out Lindholm's previous film R- the bleakest of all bleak prison films. It's hard to find but worth the hunt The Hunt- another good movie Lindholm helped write . Both are highly recommended.
In Akira Kurosawa's classic HIGH AND LOW, a kidnapper makes the mistake of kidnapping the wrong kid. The dilemma for the intended victim of the ransoming, Toshiro Mifune, becomes a Moral one: will he pay the ransom for his employee's son or not? The same dilemma faces the owners of the ship in A HIJACKING: will they pony up and get the ship and its crew back or will they write it all off on their taxes? The viewer is kept guessing throughout this isn't a Hollywood-style adventure and the slow but gradual dissolution of "the ship's cook" may well have inspired the <more>
closing scenes of another recent Somali-hijacking movie, CAPTAIN PHILIPS which I also liked, but which clearly wasn't going to end with anything untoward happening to star Tom Hanks . I first read about modern day hijacking on the high seas a couple of decades ago when an article surfaced about KOREAN hijackers. It seemed, at the time, to be something of an anachronism, but it apparently isn't.
Unbearably tense and anti-aesthetic. For his second directorial feature, Tobias Lindholm co-writer of Jagten delivers the kind of indifferent, matter-of-fact realism not experienced since the early days of Dogme 95. And because it cuts through all the fluff and artifice that has invaded commercial films without compromising momentum as a situationist thriller, one must concede that Kapringen has upped the ante on Danish rebellion against the Hollywood system.The refusal to include actual scenes of the hijacking in a film specifically titled "A Hijacking" is no accident.A cargo <more>
ship MV Rozen is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. Among the eight men crew taken hostage is Mikkel Pilou Asbæk , the ship's cook. A translator for the pirates issues demand for $15M in exchange for release. But back in Copenhagen, CEO of the shipping company Peter Søren Malling learns that gaining the upper hand demands patience. And so negotiations play out in silence like a sociopathic Fischer-Spassky game: cold, calculated, unyielding.I can't think of any movie in which I have wanted so much to resist and cease watching, yet fail to do so because it has a quality so raw, unsympathetic and intuitive. In keeping with Lindholm's debut feature a prison drama "R" ; Kapringen is filmed on location, in chronological sequence and on board a sea freighter that was hijacked in the Indian ocean. Casting also features a real life hostage negotiator as the central figure and naturally, Somali pirates.Arguably, mechanical reproduction of genuine conditions doesn't guarantee a convincing film but in this case, it does — Kapringen looks so suitably stained with normality that one instantly recognizes the absence of gimmicky aesthetics. Unmanipulated or to be PC about words, "seemingly so" , you resonate with the film's fabric of reality while searching for something more, and in the process, gain access into psychological domains that underpin both Peter and Mikkel.It's not for nothing that Lindholm went through great lengths to replicate an uncomfortable, pressing scenario because the film offers reflection on an overlooked form of terrorism. Corporations may be showing it to employees as a resource on how to respond during such crises, but Kapringen's master stroke — is the revelation of an impasse between the moral versus the practical. There is no payoff at the end of this film, it is one the most sophisticated vérités I have seen, the meta-argument leaves you deliberating, and the film takes off like a thinker on paradox.cinemainterruptus.wordpress.com
Creates a genuine atmosphere and tension you couldn't and wouldn't get from Hollywood (by davideo-2)
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday MorningA Danish cargo vessel is hijacked in the Indian Ocean by a gang of Somali pirates, who make a ransom demand. In Copenhagen, the CEO of the haulage firm Peter C. Ludvigsen Soren Malling takes it upon himself to act as a go between, against the advice of a professional they have called in, with negotiator Omar Abdihakin Asgar who is on board with the pirates and the captives. Having not buckled at the original ransom figure, and trying to get it down to a more reasonable demand, this time <more>
in line with what the professional advised, they find themselves in a devastating battle of wits with the pirates that lasts an unbelievable four months and leaves ship's chef Mikkel Pilou Asbaek doubting his sanity and fearing the worst.Once again world cinema strikes itself a blow with an outstanding effort that wouldn't have stood a chance of being bettered by Hollywood. Although a re-make, or something certainly loosely based on this work, is already due for release, directed by Paul Greengrass and with Tom Hanks in the lead role. It's another unbelievable true life story, torn from today's headlines and even more relevant as a result, that director Tobias Lindholm has injected with a sterile air of claustrophobia, atmosphere and unease that gives you a truly uncomfortable feeling of real life being played out in front of you.It's the appropriately human reactions Lindholm gets from his characters that gives it all the sense of realism that we see and feel. We have Malling as the CEO facing his worst nightmare, something he is told he hasn't the experience to deal with, but seeing it as his responsibility nonetheless, left to barter with Asgar's Omar, who he doesn't entirely trust and fails to hold his suspicion for. In turn, the trained negotiator ends up cracking under the pressure himself sometimes, as does Mikkel, during an unlawful imprisonment that would test anyone's endurance. They don't quite succumb to Stockholm Syndrome, but after catching a fish with their captors, the detained crew celebrate wildly with them as if in some way they have become their best friends. And while it's the desperation of the crew you feel most for, you can't help but wonder, if not sympathize, with the pirates for how desperate they themselves must feel to drag the siege out so long.A Danish production has tackled a true life story that is a modern phenomenon in the world at the moment, and crafted an unshowy, uncomfortably realistic and naturally human account that begs to be seen. ****
"The crew is the only thing of value." (by morrison-dylan-fan)
Taking a look on Ebay during the Christmas holidays for any good deals,I spotted a Nordic Noir title being sold for £1 with no bids with free postage! Since hearing about the title when the similarly themed Captain Phillips came out,I got set for a hijacking to take place.The plot:As the ship gets close to its destination,crew member Mikkel Hartmann starts to think about seeing his wife and daughter again for the first time in months.Before Hartmann and the crew have a chance to see land,a group of pirates get aboard the ship and hijack it. Learning that the pirates have taken control of <more>
the ship,the ship's owner Peter Ludvigsen begins attempting to negotiate with the pirates,as Hartmann and the rest of the crew start to find their hope of ever seeing land again to drift away.View on the film:Filmed on an actual ship in the Indian Ocean,writer/director Tobias Lindholm & cinematographer Magnus Nordenhof Jønck lock the crew and pirates down in a hellish Film Noir pit,as Lindholm's stiff,hand- held tracking shots superbly explore the decaying, claustrophobic wasteland that they are all being held in.Making the negotiation take place miles away, Lindholm gives the scenes away from the ship a stylishly pristine appearance,as the sharp suits and slick metallic walls show everything that the crew have sailed away from.Spanning a brittle 99 minute running time,the screenplay by Lindholm smartly makes sure the title never feels like Hartmann is alone at sea,thanks to giving each of the crew and pirates rough outlines which along with unveiling the comradeship that the crew share,also uncovers the blunt attitude the pirates have to their "cargo." Despite having a swift running time,Lindholm makes the agonisingly long passage of time for the hostage situation be whipped across the entire movie,as every attempt Hartmann and the crew make to bond with the pirates leads to them being struck with a ruthless hit.Going back and forth between the CEO and the pirates,Lindholm threads a deliciously dark comparison between the similarities shared between big business and the pirates,thanks to pirates negotiator Omar played by a terrifically restrained Abdihakin Asgar and CEO Peter C. Ludvigsen played by a slippery Søren Malling each being more interested in their power-play then ending the hostage situation quickly. Initially appearing to offer some light at the end,Lindholm instead takes the film into a harsh Nordic Noir final shot,as Hartmann played by a wonderfully burnt out Pilou Asbæk finds all his hopes to have been hijacked.
I have just returned from seeing this at the cinema and I thought it was a really good film. I've seen most of the recent clutch of excellent Danish films and I would say this film was as good as any, perhaps with the one exception of The Hunt. I've noticed one reviewer objects to the lack of voice given to the hijackers, demonstrated by their speech not being subtitled. I completely disagree with this being an issue, the film is not about the hijackers, it is about the crew of the ship, the situation they find themselves in, and their relationship with the corporation that owns the <more>
ship and is responsible for the ransom that is demanded for the safety of the crew. The film seeks to portray the sense of terror that the crew are going through and arguably the best tool used in the film is the non-translated speech of the hijackers ... we have no idea what they are saying, why they can be calm and friendly one minute and then become furious seconds later for no apparent reason, waving their guns around ... this is exactly the way the crew would have experienced it. What would be the point of letting the audience know what the hijackers were saying if the crew don't understand, bearing in mind the film is trying to put us in their shoes? The CEO of the corporation comes across as stiff and unrealistic to begin with but we are shown at the start of the film that this is how he conducts negotiations, and as the hostage negotiation goes on, his stiff demeanour slowly slips away. The film expertly rackets up the tension, and is one of those films that makes you feel like you're experiencing what the characters are, rather than watching as an audience from afar. It is not a 10/10 classic but it is a very good film and well worth watching.
An unsettling, near-perfect film that does for sailing what #Jaws did for swimming (by TheSquiss)
A Danish cargo ship, MV Rozen, is hijacked by Somali pirates en route to Mumbai. The pirates, led by Omar Abdihakin Asgar , who claims only to be the negotiator, take the crew of seven hostage and demand a ransom of $19 million in return for the ship and their lives. After an unnerving silence lasting days, Omar engages Peter Ludvigsen Søren Malling , CEO of the shipping company, in a psychological game of negotiation that shreds the nerves of both Peter and the hostages.Kapringen A Hijacking focuses on Peter, who shuns the offer of a trained negotiator, and three of his crew: Mikkel <more>
Pilou Asbæk , the ship's cook; Jan Roland Møller , an engineer; and the captain Keith Pearson . With pressure from the board to resolve the situation, the burden of facing distraught family members and his own guilt at being unable to solve the crises with an instant payment, Peter struggles to gain the upper hand where his failure will mean the deaths of his men.Tobias Lindholm, who co-wrote 2012's excellent Jagten The Hunt writes and directs this critically acclaimed film with a similar approach, refusing to spoon feed us with gimmickry or overstated episodes, instead preferring to leave us to join the dots, to imagine what is happening in the hours, days and weeks that Kapringen passes over. Lindholm understands that our fears are greatest when we cannot see or define them. As soon as the monster in a horror film is revealed, it ceases to be terrifying, and so it is in Kapringen. It's just that the monster isn't a vampire; it's isolation, the loss of basic human rights and the constant terror of impending execution.As the weeks unfold, we make assumptions about the nature of the horror that occurs behind the locked cabin doors. For much of the time we don't know what is occurring as Lindholm exercises the same power as Omar. When he's revealed all he wants, he simply hangs up, cuts away, to leave us wondering. The only palpable evidence is Mikkel's increased shuffling and enhanced stoop as he cowers in the hijackers' presence and withdraws into himself.Asbæk's performance is complete. We watch him decay in mind and body and can almost smell the sweat and fear on him. His resolve evaporates and he clings to any hope or kindness even though it comes from his tormentors.Conversely, Asgar is cold as Omar, clearly the only character enjoying the experience. He's been here numerous times and has perfected the duel personas of good cop/bad cop offering kindness and threatening murder as if he, himself, is the victim. It is a chilling situation that feels too real to be entirely comfortable and does for sailing what Jaws did for swimming almost 40 years ago.There is an oddness in the performance of Gary Skjoldmose-Porter as Conor Julian, the maritime hijack expert called in by the shipping company. With no other listings on IMDb but a job as Corporate Security Manager at Clipper Group, he appears to have been recruited to 'be' the adviser rather than cast to 'play' him. His lack of? acting prowess jars at times but the impression he gives of improvising his advice as the actors around him play their own parts in the crisis adds a certain depth and reality to Kapringen.Malling A Royal Affair and TV's The Killing and Borgen gives a very restrained, but moving performance as a man who takes control through his arrogance but also needs to take responsibility so as not to feel impotent. Attacked from every side in subtle ways, he somehow manages to absorb the extreme stress and when he does shows signs of buckling, it is understanding and a relief to see that he is human.Kapringen is a film with little action and barely a raised voice but the violence is unsettling and you'll find yourself wondering what on earth sane men and women are doing sailing around the world with such risks.Kapringen is a film you'll struggle to find at the multiplexes so make the effort to seek it out at an arts cinema. Or wait for the DVD. Just see it.For more reviews from The Squiss, subscribe to my blog and like the Facebook page.
Why You Shouldn't Bargain with Pirates (by evanston_dad)
Who knew that Somali pirates would provide such rich subject matter for filmmakers in 2013? "A Hijacking" will invariably be compared to "Captain Phillips" if for no other reason than it came out in the same year and is about a cargo ship being hijacked by Somali pirates. But they're two very different movies about two different scenarios, so I'm not sure comparing them makes much sense. However, if absolutely forced to choose, I think I would pick "A Hijacking" as the film I enjoyed more."Captain Phillips" is all about the logistics of stalling <more>
to allow time for military intervention. It's at heart a straightforward action movie, with some emotional resonance late in the film to give it some ballast. "A Hijacking" is more about the emotional and psychological toll the situation takes on the film's key players, namely the cook, Mikkel, one of the hostages on board the ship, and Peter, the CEO of the company that owns the ship, on land. Peter is determined to handle the situation himself, despite warnings from the hostage negotiator not to get involved. It will get too messy and emotional, he's told, which ends up being true, and which takes a severe psychological toll on him. The same is true for the crew, Mikkel included, who must live as hostages for months never sure from one moment to the next whether or not they will survive.The company's response to the hostage crisis is baffling to American viewers. Where in the world is the presence of any kind of military authority? Why on earth would Denmark sanction this kind of bargaining with pirates? It only encourages them to repeat their behavior. The film is comical in a morbid kind of way -- by the end, the CEO and the contact man for the pirates are exchanging faxes to negotiate an agreed upon ransom while the men on the boat rot. For all of the criticism it takes for its military bluster, it's hard to argue that the American way of dealing with such a situation isn't the better one.A tense, finely-acted movie that, because of an incident that occurs very late in the film, may just take the wind out of you.Grade: A