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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two men.....
Firstly this is an amazing film. Johan Philip Asbæk plays the role of Mikkel, the ship's cook. He is the main character on board a ship which has been captured by Somalian pirates. Soren Malling is Peter, the CEO for the shipping company thus takes on the lead role in negotiations to free the crew members.

What gives the film energy is the constant...
Published 16 months ago by godzilla78

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars KISS THE FISH,
The film is called " A Hijacking" because "Boring Negotiations" doesn't sell. The production has won numerous awards as the film is billed as a psychological drama/thriller, easy on the thriller part. You don't get to see the actual hijacking, or for that matter any real action. The film moved from one boring talking scene to the next. Once the ship was...
Published 9 months ago by The Movie Guy


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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two men....., 15 April 2013
By 
godzilla78 (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
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Firstly this is an amazing film. Johan Philip Asbæk plays the role of Mikkel, the ship's cook. He is the main character on board a ship which has been captured by Somalian pirates. Soren Malling is Peter, the CEO for the shipping company thus takes on the lead role in negotiations to free the crew members.

What gives the film energy is the constant switching back and forth between the ship in the Indian ocean and the corporate boardroom in Denmark. The stark contrast between the two is shocking. The ship's crew (seven in total) live in fear for their lives on a daily basis and are kept in horrible conditions with lack of the man's basic needs ie fresh air, food, toilet etc. In the meantime Peter decides to ignore the advice from his own security expert and deal with the negotiations himself rather than rely on a middleman (despite being warned that this could be a huge mistake). This is not from arrogance but more from the point that this man is driven and wants to see the crew return safely. So whilst the dialogue with Peter and Omar (the negotiator for the pirates) drags on and on over weeks and then months, the crew are reaching breaking point. And the company men play a hard bargin. Thus it becomes a war of attrition. Everyone wants to go home but until the company pay up this isn't going to happen.

We only get a small glimpse into the world of those being held captive on the ship and its not very pretty. Perhaps the biggest eye opener is the protracted negotiations from the boardroom. These scenes I enjoyed a lot more, tense, yet mens live's are being toyed with whilst those in power begin a long and drawn out process over money. Mikkel's mental and physical health (along with other crew members) takes a battering as his fear and frustrations grow everyday at the lack of movement on the dialogue between the CEO and the pirates.

A fantastic and tense drama especially from the lead roles. Johan Philip Asbæk is great as the kidnapped man at the end of his tether but its Malling who steals the show as the conflicted CEO who takes on the burden of getting his men home safely. Does he? Well, you will just have to watch to find out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grimly Realistic, 10 Mar 2014
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Heading towards India a Danish ship is captured by Somali Pirates. The small crew is caught in a situation for which they have no training. The pirates swiftly bring in their top negotiator and the CEO of the shipping firm saddles up to negotiate the deal (backed up with his own experts). The negotiation thus becomes two dimensional: there is the key of reaching an agreed sum by haggling and engaging in the meta-game of negotiation (one does not offer too high a price too easily) and alongside this game is the trauma of crew and families as they endure their confinement. Both sides engage in a number of ruses to improve their negotiating position, but as time passes (and a lot of time passes) the CEO begins to grasp that negotiating with Japanese suppliers over a contract is not quite the same as negotiating with lives. The film is low key without the Hollywood crisis style of narrative; it is the unremitting passage of time that gets one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tense thriller, 16 Mar 2014
By 
M. Brookes - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Hijacking (Blu-ray)
This film is an excellent Danish film about a Danish cargo ship that is hijacked by Somali pirates, it tells the story along two threads, the first is about the ship's crew being held hostage, in particular the ship's cook. In parallel it tells about the negotiations for the crew's release by the CEO of the corporation that owns the ship.

The strength of the film comes from the performances, across the board they are excellent. The pace of the film is slow, but it is always interesting. The interaction between the crew and the pirates is mercurial, one moment there is a sense of camaraderie, they are all waiting for the same thing. The next they are subjected to terror through violence and mock executions. At the centre of it is the ship's cook, the pirates manipulate him to aid their negotiations, he also has the most contact with them and the relationship between them is fascinating to watch.

The other thread focuses on the CEO and his negotiations with the pirate leader, these are a slow and tense process forming the backbone of the film. There's some internal politics involved and he's being advised by an expert in the field, but against the advice conducts the negotiations himself. We also catch glimpses of the families of the crew, although here the film lacked a little.

Like other fine Danish films and TV shows it's an understated film that works on the strength of its performances. There's no flash or melodrama, it's an authentic feel that unfolds at its own pace. It's an excellent film that's well worth a watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality, 27 May 2014
A Hijacking is a quality piece of Danish filmmaking (although much of the dialogue is in English). The plots fairly basic - a ship is hijacked by Somali pirates and the crew are held hostage as the pirates and their "interpreter" negotiate with the ships owners. Back on dry land, the owners treat the situation as something of a business deal, they will keep negotiating until the price drops to an acceptable level. The crew are left in squalid conditions while the deal is brokered.

Primarily we follow the ships on board cook Mikkel (Johan Philip Asbaek) and the executive leading the negotiations Peter (Soren Malling). Both actors deliver excellent performances and the acting throughout the whole film is first class. This is important as the film is more about the people than the guns they may be holding. This is no gung ho action flick, it's a measured, tense drama as the "action" unfolds over a painstakingly long period of time (for the characters, 100 minutes for the viewer).

Some of the negotiation scenes are unbearably tense as the crews wellbeing hangs in the balance and the filmmakers go for an almost documentary style realism. We're not shown the hijacking itself for example (not much of it anyway) and other developments take place off camera also, leaving things to our imagination.

Overall very good stuff. Highly recommended.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars blimey, just as tough as it is rewarding, 14 May 2013
By 
Rob Simpson "noframeof" (Middlesbrough, England) - See all my reviews
Blimey. A Hijacking follows an industrial ship working in African seas that's hijacked (off-screen) by Somalian pirates. The film is divided into two strands, the first is the hijacked ship dealing with the pirates day on day, and the second is the interrogation process where the companies CEO tries to negotiate his crews release. It's the second strand that is most notable and it's the action and inaction of that aspect of the movie that provides most of the nail biting tension. To that end, Tobias Lindholm's film is just as much about the conditions of the hijacking as it the boneheaded pride and stupidity of the business world, treating an incredibly precarious and dangerous situation as a business transaction with another awkward customer.

All shot with hand held cameras; A Hijacking has an up-close and intimate approach to storytelling, with naturalistic presentation and acting. Johan Philip Asbæk who plays the ships cook, Mikkel is the focal point of much of the film and his performance is heart-breaking. This is personal and naturalistic film making, a creative decision that elevates A Hijacking into an edge of the seat tense, emotional, upsetting, gruelling and exhausting experience. I was a wreck after watching this film. What Jaws did for the sea and beaches, a hijacking does the same for boats. As hard a film as it is, the way you emotionally connect with its protagonists and their plight is more real and more emotionally engaging than the films preventing it from getting a decent cinema run. For me it's the first incontestable film for my best of the year list.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-hitting hostage drama on the high seas, 20 July 2013
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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A Hijacking is 100 minutes of gruelling, gripping tension. It doesn't seek to glamorise or Hollywoodise the very real threat of modern-day piracy of commercial shipping. Instead it starkly portrays the at times horrific possibilities when hostages are held long-term for ransom. It is not a barrel of laughs.

The action switches between a Danish cargo carrier which is captured by Somali pirates, and the shipping company which must negotiate for the safe return of the crew. All of the performances are excellent - but Søren Malling at the CEO of the company is especially stunning. Against the advice of a security consultant he takes responsibility for the negotiations and personally deals with the pirate's representative... and over the weeks which stretch into months this confident, capable and assured man starts to quietly unravel. There are some shatteringly powerful scenes; especially when he has to inform the crew's relatives of sudden events.
Likewise, the key character on the ship - its cook - puts in a pivotal performance. The plot explores how the captives and their captors at times reach towards an acknowledgement of shared humanity. But it also shies away from standard kidnap clichés, and presents some moments of frightening brutality.
The pirate negotiator (who may be far more than that) is another compelling character; well worth watching his frustration reach boiling point.

The filming is understated and almost invisible: events are presented in matter of fact fashion without 'fake documentary' camera-shake or any such gimmicks. A Hijacking doesn't need them. The scenes in the operations room of the Danish company are especially atmospheric: a room with no windows; bare walls plastered with photos of the kidnapped crew; a stark whiteboard showing the kidnappers' current demand. The action leaps to the cabin on board the ship where the captain, cook and first officer are imprisoned - with no ventilation or toilet access - and we're invited to see the similarities between the two situations.
Look out also for the scene with the goats, which really doesn't require any explanation to hammer home its sinister suggestion.
The English subtitling was well presented and didn't disrupt the dramatic flow at any point.

A stunning if arduous example of superb film-making.
9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seemingly actionless, yet riveting., 29 Mar 2014
By 
Churchmouse (Birmingham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Hijacking (Blu-ray)
Comparisons with Captain Phillips seem inevitable, since both deal with a hijacking at sea. However, this film takes a very different approach; it concentrates primarily on one crew member on the hijacked ship, and the whole negotiating team back on land - the hijacking itself is protracted over many months and one sees how the pressure gradually ratchets up on all involved.

Although Captain Phillips is based on a true story, this film actually felt more real.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A proper movie!!, 10 April 2014
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Forget 'Captain Phillips', which is predictable drivel, this is the movie to watch. I am well passed my middle age and very disappointed that I did not discover Danish movies earlier in my life. I must just make up as quickly as possible. This movie is much more realistic and much more unpredictable than 'Captain Phillips' and probably cost 1/10th the price. I strongly recommend this DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More realistic than Captain Phillips, 17 Mar 2014
By 
Hans Boisen (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This was such a surprise of a film. It gripped me from start to finish. Having watched Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks, which came out after A Hijacking, i must say that A Hijacking was far more exciting and realistic. I would recommend this film. Also the dialog is half Danish and half English so not subtitled all the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and thought provoking, 28 Jun 2014
This review is from: A Hijacking (DVD)
Another cracking Danish film. Absorbing from the outset, it tells the story of a Danish ship hijacked by Somali pirates and the complex negotiations which took place in order to release them. Beautifully crafted with excellent performances.
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A Hijacking [Blu-ray]
A Hijacking [Blu-ray] by Tobias Lindholm (Blu-ray - 2013)
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