A HIJACKING (Kapringen) - GRADE A-

A HIJACKING (Kapringen) - GRADE A-

If you like Santa Claus and Donald Duck and you want to keep believing that pirates look and act like Johnny Depp, don't see 'A Hijacking,' because everything in Tobias Lindholm's riveting film looks so real that you might think it's a high resolution videotape of a pirate hijacking. And the reality is not pretty. This drama about the capture on the high seas of a Danish ship is doubtless the most exciting one that has ever come down the pike about Somali pirates and is likely not to be bettered any time soon, perhaps not even by 'Captain Phillips' which opens October 11th. If this were an American movie about one of our ships captured at sea ("Captain Phillips"?), the climax would be a massive shootout leaving all pirates sprawled on the deck dead and one of two hostages likewise out of circulation. If that's your idea of such an adventure, you're welcome to your taste. Though the Danes don't go in for that kind of stuff, they don't have to. 'A Hijacking' is taut, compelling, and in the broad sense a spectacular political thriller.

Bookmark and Share

A HIJACKING (Kapringen)
Magnolia

Reviewed for Arizona Reporter by Harvey Karten.
Data-based on RottenTomatoes.com

Grade: A-
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Screenwriter: Tobias Lindholm
Cast: Pilou Asbaek, Søren Malling, Abdihakin Asgar,
Screened at: Review 2, NYC, 5/22/13
Opens: June 21, 2013

Shooting on location on the Kenyan coast, principally from the port of Mombasa, director Lindholm takes us into the rough seas of the Indian Ocean where Mikkel Hartmann (Johan Philip Asbæek) serves as cook and principal liaison between his crew and the directors of the corporation that owns the shipping company. Peter C. Ludvigsen (Søren Malling) takes on the role of principal negotiator for the company establishing his credentials as a tough-as-nails bargainer when he gets a team of Japanese businessmen in Copenhagen to come down in price for merchandise from nineteen million dollars to fourteen point five. Peter is not given to emotions, wearing a suit, tie and cufflinks throughout the months that he spends on the phone with the pirates, principally Omar (Abdihakin Asgar) who is fluent in English and with the Somali dialect. He demands fifteen million US dollars, is countered by Peter with an offer of $250,000, and from there the weeks drag on as one side slowly comes down while the other moves some notches up. Peter's mistake is in refusing advice to hire a person skilled at hostage negotiations as suggested by Connor (Gary Skjoldmose Porter), a British negotiator, saying that "this is my company" and that he is responsible for the ship called the Rozan and for the men aboard.

If you think this sort of give and take is like haggling over the price of a car, note that the patient Somalis are willing to wait for months to get what they consider a reasonable offer from the Danes, but during that time cook Mikkel becomes more worn down than most and seems particularly disturbed by being required to slaughter a goat. In one scene reminiscent of the singing of "A Long Way to Tipperary" in the movie "Das Boot," the crew and the pirates seem to be having a ball one day singing "What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor," the Somalis beating the rhythm in their own language while the crew appears to be catching Stockholm syndrome (an identification with the aims of the kidnappers).

One wonders where these pirates can spend any money they receive. What will they buy in Mogadishu or wherever else in that failed state they live? They appear to be in their profession for the excitement at least as much as for the money.

Magnus Nordenhof Jønck photographs the action, fulfilling the aims of writer- director Tobias Lindholm, whose previous work includes "R," featuring Johan Philip Asbæk as a violent prisoner who finds friendship with an incarcerated Muslim. Unlike so many European films, the titles in "A Hijacking" are bold and easy to read, showing up when Danish is spoken and left out when Omar demands that Mikkel speak in English.

Rated R. 99 minutes. © Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online



Latest Additions to AZR

WITCHING & BITCHING (LAS BRUJAS DE ZUGARRAMURDI)

Witching and BitchingWhen Arthur Miller wrote "The Crucible," he presented us with a crackerjack story of actual events: the Salem Witch trials in which a relatively small number of people were burned at the stake, some after being outed by children. The play had no humor to speak of, it was deadly ...

22 JUMP STREET, SATISFYINGLY SILLY

Having conquered the box-office in their first mismatched buddies action-comedy, those bumbling undercover cops - brawny Jenko (Channing Tatum) and brainy Schmidt (Jonah Hill) - are back again. Only, this time, they've moved into the Vietnamese church across the street, along with Deputy Chief Hard ...

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 - ENCHANTING

Writer/director Dean DeBlois breathes fresh fire into the second chapter of this animated trilogy, returning to the mythological world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. ...

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF FUN, PLAY AND FULL ENGAGEMENT

Creativity is intelligence having fun. ~ Albert Einstein, physicist

Do you think fun is frivolous? If so, perhaps you should think again.

Pause at the end of this paragraph - just for a few seconds - to recall a very happy, joyful, engaging moment from your li ...

REVIEW, WHO IS DAYANI CRISTAL?

They like us! They really like us! No, not the Lebanese or Pakistanis, Slovenians or Russians. They're Mexicans, many of whom literally risk their lives to cross to us at the fenced-in border between our two countries. Never mind that the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo lifted parts of Californ ...


View Local News Sources From 33,000+ Neighborhoods Nationwide!



Eg : Movie Review, Arizona, Fishing, etc.
Search results for

In Our Current Issue


Arizona Reporter on Twitter Follow to Arizona Reporter on Facebook Subscribe to Arizona Reporter on Yahoo News Arizona Reporter RSS Feed Subscribe to Arizona Reporter via Kindle!
View Local News Sources


Arizona Newswire

Latest Reviews
By Harvey Critic

HARVEY KARTEN
Member NYFCO

Arizona

Latest Reviews
By Susan Granger

Member NYFCO

James Mapes
Quantum Leap Thinking

An Owner's Guide to the Mind