A Hijacking (aka Kapringen) review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
Hijacking, original Danish title “Kapringen” is a tense European drama about a Danish commercial cargo ship that is hijacked by Somali pirates and held for ransom.
With much of the focus of the film on the attempts by CEO and authorities back home to free the ship and its crew A Hijacking is a far cry from anything Hollywood could possibly produce on the subject; and with the upcoming release of Paul Greengrasses Captain Phillip we’ll soon have the cinematic proof.
Where I can not help but envision Hollywood taking the action hero approach this European drama follows Peter C. Ludvigsen a somewhat reluctant hero who takes it upon himself to negotiate with the dangerous pirates. Played brilliantly by comedian Soren Malling (known for a recurring role in Borgen and Nikolaj Arcel’s A Royal Affair) Ludvigsen ignores the advice of others when told to hire a professional negotiator and attempts to solve the problem himself, however the pirates rejection of his first cash offering turn this into a long running affair, where clearly it is going to be more complex than the unwise Ludvigsen initially hoped.
The length of the hijacking takes its toll on those left ashore as well as those aboard the ship, slowly Ludvigsen begins to deteriorate, worn down by the stress and fear that constantly has a hold of him; where one begins the film expecting he will be driven by profit and the companies financial gain we soon see the gentle but wholly believable change as the reality of the situation takes hold.
And reality is what shines most brightly out of this piece overall, the characters lead the entire story and it is their emotions and behaviour that make this such a captivating piece of cinema – never mind the heroes and Hollywood histrionics, A Hijacking offers a brief insight into the harrowing and guilt inducing repercussions of an illegal hijacking.