Quickfire Review: A Hijacking (2013)

Synopsis: The crew of a Danish cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates who proceed to engage in escalating negotiations with authorities in Copenhagen

My Take

A Hijacking

The rise and rise of Danish television and cinema continues with A Hijacking, a gripping and starkly cold look at the business of negotiating the release of a crew of a Danish cargo ship taken over by Somali pirates.

When the largely Danish crew of the MV Rozen are taken hostage in the middle of the Indian Ocean en route to Mumbai the company who own the ship back in Denmark are quick to react and bring in a specialist hostage adviser to guide them through the process. The company’s CEO and chief business negotiator Peter (Soren Malling) refuses to relinquish responsibility for negotiating the lives of his men and embarks on a cold and cynical game of cat and mouse as both sides try and financially quantify the worth of the crew. As the negotiations become protracted, and emotions spill over, tension on both sides of the satellite phone become unbearable for all involved. Particularly as the pirates’ chief negotiator Omar uses the fear of the ship’s Cook, Mikkel (Pilou Asbaek), as a bargaining point in order to win.

The re-emergence over the last decade of pirates in and around the East Coast of Africa has stirred up equal measures fear, mirth and indifference in Western culture. A problem that is far away and aimed at a small minority of people, it’s difficult for most of us to feel fearful of a problem we know we are likely never going to experience. Unlike conventional terrorism unless you plan on boarding a boat and sailing it near Somalia then chances are you’re going to be alright. A Hijacking is a stark and brutal insight into the physical and psychological trauma that will linger long after the months at sea under constant fear of being murdered have passed.

Conclusion: A cold and calculated look at the business of buying freedom

Verdict: 7/10


Cast: Pilou Asbeck, Soren Malling, Dar Salim, Roland Moller, Gary Sjkoldmose Porter, Abdihakin Asgar

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