Thanks to Eclipse Pictures I watched a press screening of Tobias Lindholm’s (writer of Borgen) second feature film A Hijacking.
A cargo ship is hijacked by Somali Pirates on the high seas and a Sea Cook does his best to survive while thousands of miles away, in his office in Copenhagen, the Company Owner takes negotiations into his own hands.
In only a few years Lindholm has made a slick transition from the writer of Borgen, the riveting political drama series to director of gripping and emotionally taught motion pictures. A Hijacking is his second film as director.
The plot revolves around the relationships that build up between, Mikkel, the Sea Cook, (Pilou Asbæk) , Peter, the Company owner (Søren Malling) and Omar the Pirate’s English-speaking negotiator (Abdihakin Asgar).
Asbæk delivers a sensitive performance as the kind hearted Mikkel who is manipulated both by the pirates and by Malling, who could perhaps have been a little more developed, as the Company Owner, Peter, trying to turn the negotiations from emotional to financial while Asgar shows perfect amounts of frustration (measured or not) as he plays them both off each other.
Lindholm conveys a real sense of helplessness, frustration, isolation and fear from all angles of this hostage situation. In an almost documentary style we can feel time wearing heavily on the characters and it is never clear whether this will be resolved happily or not. There is nothing melodramatic about this film, a very real tension underlies the every scene especially when the cast arrive at times of uneasy ‘truces’.
There are some Danish subtitles but the majority of the film is in English.
A Hijacking opens in the Ireland on 17 May