A Hijacking

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One mistake can mean life or death to the crew on board a Danish cargo ship taken hostage by Somali pirates in Tobias Lindholm’s gritty, nail-biting thriller A Hijacking. When volatile Somali pirates ambush a Danish cargo ship in the Indian Ocean and demand a ransom for safe passage of the crew, the shipping company’s CEO Peter Ludvigsen (Søren Malling) ignores advice from a hostage negotiator and rashly decides to handle negotiations himself. After all, he reasons, he’s a cutthroat dealmaker by trade. But tensions in the Copenhagen negotiation chamber soon echo those on board the freighter, and his confidence is not shared by the hostages as days in cramped, increasingly fetid confinement drag into weeks of high-stakes negotiations – and an escalating potential for explosive violence with no release in sight. Skillfully combining elements of a gripping thriller with an insightful examination of the art of negotiation, the film’s tense documentary style, along with its “ripped from the headlines” storyline involving modern-day piracy, makes this fictional crisis all too believable. (Dir. by Tobias Lindholm, 2012, Denmark, in Danish/Swedish/English with subtitles, 110 mins., Rated R, Magnolia Pictures) Digital