Danish telly has taught us much: the attraction of good knitwear (‘The Killing’); the finer points of Danish politics (‘Borgen’). Now, from this classy hostage movie, we learn how to negotiate with Somali pirates, and – perhaps more usefully – how to do male public displays of affection, Scandi-style. The trick is a big grizzly bear hug followed by gently nodding foreheads (think of it as a head kiss). Pilou Asbæk (the spin doctor in ‘Borgen’) stars as the easygoing cook on a cargo ship captured by pirates. He’s picked to make the call to his company’s HQ in Denmark with the pirates’ $15 million ransom demand. His boss (Søren Malling, Lund’s sidekick in the first season of ‘The Killing’) has been advised to start bidding at $250,000. Offer more, and the pirates will raise their price.
‘A Hijacking’ is gripping in the way the best Danish TV is – in its no-frills authenticity. Director Tobias Lindholm is a writer on ‘Borgen’, and as weeks turn into months, he portrays well the claustrophobia on board the ship and the tension at home – but a built-for-TV feel keeps the pace a bit slack.