“When are you coming home?” – Kapringen/A Hijacking

“They’ve activated the alarm on the Rozen. She may have been hijacked.”

Kapringen (A Hijacking) is a film, inspired by real events, about a cargo ship heading back to Denmark which is hijacked by Somali pirates out in the Indian Ocean. This then leads to a long negotiation between the CEO of the shipping company and the Somali pirates and a long wait for the ship’s crew.

*Steer clear of the trailer if you don’t like spoilers.


While it has its similarities in story plot, don’t expect the same type of suspense and action aspects similar to the Hollywood film, Captain Phillips,  which focuses on the heroic main character Tom Hanks. This film instead focuses on the psychological drama between the CEO of the shipping company and the Somali pirates, as well as the trauma faced by the crew of the ship.

Take heed that this is an emotionally exhausting film. The tense atmosphere is thick throughout the entire show. By avoiding the clichéd action movie tropes, the terrifying fear and trauma the characters go through is brought to the forefront through a constant sense of dread and realism. This movie highlights the more emotional and psychological aspects of the characters and you can’t help but feel the same feelings of desperation as the characters in the film. This is especially showcased brilliantly by the main characters, Lars Vestergaard, the CEO during the hostage negotiation scenes, and Mikkel Hartmann, the cook onboard the ship who just wants to go home to his family. These characters had the most in-depth character development throughout the film as they are forced to go through various horrible situations with the Somali pirates.

What added to the sense of realism in the film was probably due to the factor that the crew, who worked as extras, had contributed to the details to the script as they themselves had been victims of a hijacking in the past. Also, the cast was a mix of professional actors and first-time actors, and instead of using CGI for the scenes out in sea, a real ship was used in those scenes. The lack of subtitles for the Somali pirates when they were speaking in their own language also added to the sense of realism and fear felt by the crew.

All in all, this is a fantastic film which avoids typical mainstream movie conventions but yet manages to maintain its suspense. The sound of a gun shot or the hang-up tone of a phone has never seemed so frightening.

A great article to read probably after you’ve watched the film: Here


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