Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Hijacking vs. Captain Phillips

Tobias Lindholm's A Hijacking (2012)
Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips (2013)

Two forthcoming releases, both high-tension dramas about the hijacking of Western cargo boats by Somali pirates. One stars Tom Hanks and is helmed by Paul Greengrass, of Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum fame; the other stars Borgen alumni Pilou Asbaek and Soren Malling, and is written and directed by chief Borgen contributor Tobias Lindholm.

Observe the sharp contrast in European and American styles of film-making:

Both are mass-consumption fare mind, even the Danish A Hijacking was made on a reasonably sizeable budget, presumably possible due to the successful exporting of Danish and general "Scandi" TV shows and films in recent years (The Killing, Wallander, All You Need is Love, etc.).

It goes without saying that Captain Phillips will be the bigger draw at the Box Office, and I must admit, it looks more exciting (Scary Somalian pirates! Brave gentle Tom!). It's still a quiet shame that we all know which is the more worthy film (hint: it's A Hijacking), not solely due to the nuanced performances and palpable tension built on uncompromising realism. I have more than a suspicion that Captain Phillips won't leave the audience pondering the socio-political disparities separating the Somali pirates and our Western hero quite like A Hijacking will... 

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