Thursday, 11 April 2013


The candour of the title says it all. A Hijacking is nothing more than a fictional account of the hijacking of a Danish cargo ship in the Indian Ocean. Something as straightforward as this would represent boldness and daring in the Hollywood system, but the Danes work from a different system entirely. They have a knack, in their films and television output, for capturing reality. Not one word rings false, not even when the subtitles stumble, as the vocal syntax is so fluid and frank. Not one performance rings false, not even for a moment, no matter how menial nor how demanding the task set before the cast. Were it not for the professional production quality (professional, but not flashy), A Hijacking would be pure cinema-verite. A thorough understanding of the complexities of such an ordeal is displayed in the screenplay, both from the perspective of the hostages and from those tasked with freeing them. The emotional understanding alone is excellent, with simple scenes suffused with such a layering of sentiment that one would be inclined to sit back and marvel at Tobias Lindholm's intelligence, were it not for the fact that A Hijacking is just too affecting, and too gripping, to allow one to detach oneself emotionally. Tobias Lindholm also co-wrote Thomas Vinterberg's recent The Hunt, which manifests a very similar balance of riveting drama and social, psychological depth. Crucial to its success is that it is never clear how or when the situation will be resolved, nor what the results will be once resolved. A slight jolt off-course near the end ensures that not even your most astute estimations will be quite accurate, as one last layer is added, Lindholm unwilling to waste a single moment of his masterful film.