Gary Skjoldmose Porter

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If A Hijacking were some Hollywood blockbuster — let’s say, starring Harrison Ford from the ’90s — it would be an inspirational tale of the everyman’s triumph over the pirates. It would likely feature quotable quotes like “Get off my ship!” and have a big special effects-heavy hijacking sequence. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Hollywood blockbuster action genre – it certainly works when executed properly. But A Hijacking features none of these tropes and is all the better for it. With writer/director Tobias Lindholm at its helm, the film defies most expectations while exceeding them, creating a focus on the individuals affected by the event and presenting a constant feeling of dread that casts a pall over even most of the more uplifting moments. Alternating between action on the cargo ship Rozen being hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean and the hostage negotiations transpiring back at the shipping company, Lindholm weaves together a story that is more about the slow unraveling of man’s ability to keep composure, to withstand the impossible. This is not about kicking ass and taking names. In fact, the entire hijacking takes place off screen, taking the focus away completely from the “action” aspect. The audience finds out about the hijacking the same time that the shipping company does.

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