Tobias Lindholm was born in Denmark. He studied screenwriting at the National Film School there, graduating in 2007. He worked in television on acclaimed dramas The Summers (2008) and Borgen (2009-10) and co-wrote Submarino (2011) with Thomas Vinterberg. He collaborated with Michael Noer on his first feature, R, (2011), which won the Danish Critics’ Bodil Award for best film. A Hijacking (2012) is his first solo feature film.
Cast & Crew:Director: Tobias Lindholm
Producer: René Ezra, Tomas Radoor
Screenwriter: Tobias Lindholm
Cinematographer: Magnus Nordenhof Jønck
Editor: Adam Nielsen
Music: Hildur Guðnadóttir
Production Company: Nordisk Film
Cast: Pilou Asbæk, Søren Malling, Dar Salim
It’s a quiet day at sea for the small crew of the Danish cargo ship MV Rozen. They’re a few days out from port in the Indian Ocean, and the ship’s affable cook Mikkel has just phoned home to tell his wife and daughter that it’s business as usual onboard. But two days later, in the shipping company’s sleek office back in Copenhagen, we learn that the vessel has been seized by a mercurial band of Somali pirates, and they’re demanding US $15 million in ransom. Forgoing the advice of a professional hostage negotiator, the company’s penny-pinching CEO decides to handle the life-and-death situation on his own, plunging everyone – the suits, the sailors, the pirates, the families – into a long-drawn-out battle of wills that seems bound, ineluctably, to end in bloodshed.
After winning near-unanimous acclaim upon its premiere at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, A Hijacking should cement a place for director Tobias Lindholm on Denmark’s A-list. It’s not easy to approach the well-trodden hostage-thriller genre from a new angle, but he manages, eschewing by-the-numbers plot signposts, conspicuous action and showy acting for a toned-down, documentary-like approach to the unfolding drama. All of this restraint builds an excruciating sense of suspense that pays off hugely in the end. Despite the film’s small budget, A Hijacking maintains a palpable authenticity throughout, from its claustrophobic setting on a ship with its own history of hijacking, to inspired casting choices like a real-life hostage expert and soldier-turned-actor Dar Salim (Go With Peace Jamil).
– Joel Hoglund