A Hijacking follows the crew of the MV Rozen, a cargo ship, headed across the Indian Ocean for Dubai. When the ship is captured by Somali pirates, the men on board are taken hostage and used as bargaining chips for the Somali pirates to get their demands. Amongst the men on board are the ship's cook Mikkel, and engineer Jan, two men who are primarily responsible for communicating the pirates demands to their employer. Tobias Lindholm's A Hijacking is a tension-filled story which focuses on the human consequences of modern piracy and how it effects not only the men held hostage but also their familes and the men responsible for trying to negotiate their freedom. The film spends nearly equal time with the crew and the negotiators, capturing every detail of this horrific situation. The opening sequence of the film sets up how our main protagonist, Mikkel, misses his wife and child. He talks to them on the phone and tells them he will be home soon. This is a simple scene that effectively establishes both the type of man Mikkel is, as well as what is at stake with these negotiatons. The film does a great job at capturing the psychological effect which this type of situation would have not only on the crew but also their employer who must try and get them home. David, the CEO of the company, has absolutely no experience dealing with this type of situation and we see the effect it has on his psyche. He is a man who feels responsible for captured crew, and one could make an argument that David is truly the main character of the story. While a film dealing with this type of subject matter could have easily come off as manipulative or exaggerated, A Hijacking does a fantatsic job at holding on to this chilling subdued energy that never feels too high or too low to believable. In the end, A Hijacking is a strong film because the respect it shows to all parties involved, from the negotiators to the family members of the hostages, painting a seering and realistic portrait of this game of life and death.
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