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A Hijacking

A Hijacking
Pilou Asbaek, Soren Malling, Gary Skjoldmose Porter and Abdihakin Asgar

Rated: R for language.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: June 21, 2013 Released by: Magnolia Pictures

Tobias Lindholm more than adequately acquits himself as a sure-handed helmer even with a certain temporal clumsiness in the Danish import A Hijacking (multilingual with subtitles).

A tremulous scenario is created as Danish cargo vessel MV Rosen is boarded by a group of Somali pirates while en route to Mumbai. Among a crew of seven offered in a $15 million ransom is Danish chef Mikkel (Pilou Asbaek) who is the main figure (at least in the claustrophobic, open sea end) in a tale with some striking points-of-view sans Nordic government.

Another key character is Peter, a sensitive, if haughty Soren Malling, as a steely bargainer even when retaining hostage expert Connor (an untrained Gary Skjoldmose Porter). Peter creates a bit of antagonism when coming in with a number well below the ransom.

The way the plot unfolds from aboard the deteriorating, more gloomy MV Rosen (including its sanitary state) and from business offices provides an oddly compelling oleo of beauty, grit and even psychological realism. The result is evocatively riveting as Peter thinks he's up against Omar (Abdihakin Asgar) who avers that he's not one of the marauders but a translator.

For some, A Hijacking may lurk into genre convention, but within its confined production (the titular activity occurs off-screen during a meeting) it's calibrated through the demands and shouting down to size like a humbled Peter. A man who comes into contact not just with board members, but those closest to the crew. It may not be resolved in an ideal, expected manner with dread sufficiently ratcheted up even as the "value" of a hostage becomes more meaningful. As much time progresses, something intense and jaded makes for a pressurized, potent negotiation.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
A Hijacking        B+                     B+ 

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