Complete A-Z list

Hijacking, A/Kapringen


Stars: Soren Malling, Pilou Asbaek, Gary Skjoldmose Porter, Abdihakin Asgar, Dar Salim, Ronald Moller, Linda Laursen, Amalie Alstrup, Amalie Vulff Andersen, Keith Pearson, Allan Arnby, Bettin Schjerlund

Director: Tobias Lindholm

Without ever needing to resort to Hollywood-style inserted action sequences or larger-than-life performances to boost his story, writer and director Tobias Lindholm creates strangling suspense which grows naturally to near unbearable limits as his all-too-credible scenario unfolds. His film is small in scale but huge in genuine tension.

The Danish cargo ship ‘MV Rozen’ is sailing across the Indian Ocean when Somali pirates hijack the vessel and take the crew as hostages while one of them negotiates with Søren Malling, the CEO of the shipping company, who decides to dispose of a professional negotiator and handle the problem himself, with the help of a British professional negotiator.

Unshowy direction gives the scenes set on board the hijacked vessel where the crew undergoes the pains of cramped conditions and subsequent agonies at the hands of their captors vivid realism, which adds immense impact.

Similarly, the negotiations with the pirates that take place in the open coolness of the Copenhagen head office, are increasingly tense and realistic with Lindholm making no concessions for the comfort of his audience. His film has a vivid documentary style that adds immensely to its holding dramatic force.

Unknown (except, I presume, to Danish audiences) actors add to the overall power of a superb movie that manages both to create utterly convincing characters on board the ship and in the sterile head office. I was particularly impressed by Lindholm’s acid and only-too-believable executives for whom the suffering of the hostages is considered to be irrelevant in the face of ransom demands in the millions.

Alan Frank

Denmark 2012. UK Distributor: Arrow Films. Colour.
99 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 09 May 2013