Newest Review: ... directed adverts) Language: Hindi Produced by: Aleya Motion Magic Pvt Ltd Release date: August 2008 Duration: 122 minutes Certificati... more
Hijack - Based on a True Hijacking
Member Name: anonymili
Date: 03/02/10, updated on 13/05/13 (66 review reads)
Advantages: Decent enough acting, no gratuitous violence
Disadvantages: Main terrorist was funny rather than scary
Vikram Madan works at Chandigarh Airport (India) as a maintenance officer. His daughter Priya is on a flight from Amritsar to Delhi which is hijacked by a group of terrorists demanding the release of their mastermind Rashid Omar. They stop the plane at Chandigarh to refuel and Vikram gets on board and with the aid of air hostess Saira, he tries to rescue his daughter and the other hostages.
Hijack is based partly on a true hijack incident of Indian Airlines flight IC-814 on Christmas Eve in 1999 from Nepal to Delhi which ended with three Islamic militants being released by India and which led to relations between India and the Taliban deteriorating even further. This hijacking has been most often referred to as the Kandahar hijacking. One of the militants who was released was later arrested for the murder of Daniel Pearl and one of them founded the mujahedeen organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed which has been banned in Pakistan since 2002.
Having watched Hijack I'd have to say that it is a Bollywood version of Die Hard, Air Force One, Flight Plan, Executive Decision and a mixture of various other movies involving aircraft being hijacked. I recognised several parts from the film as being lifted from other films. For example, the politician on board who thinks he can win votes by getting involved in the negotiations, well you can guess what happens to him, can't you? Then there's the arrogant businessman who refuses to move out of 1st class into economy because he's paid for a 1st class ticket, his end was nigh the moment we see him arguing with the hijackers! There's the sub-plot of emails being sent from the terrorists and the realisation about who else is working with the hijackers. On the flight that this film is supposed to be based on (Indian Airlines flight IC-814) there was a honeymoon couple: the husband was killed brutally by the hijackers (this was the only passenger death on the original flight) and in Hijack we also have a honeymoon couple but the end result is slightly different. One of the subplots in Hijack includes an elderly couple who clearly adore each other but the husband suffers from severe asthma which leads to his very protective wife confronting one of the hijackers when she tries to retrieve his inhaler from their hand luggage.
In a scene at the start of the film you see 4 college students in a nightclub plotting how they're going away for a few days and one of the girls doesn't know how she's going to hide from her parents that she's going away. Her friends persuade her to say she's staying with one of them for study purposes as she doesn't have a computer at home and needs access to a PC to finish her project. One wonders what sort of parents wouldn't call their daughter at the friend's house for 3 days... Shortly after these kids leave the nightclub it's blown up by terrorists, how unlucky are they to board a flight that gets hijacked as well? Of course the nightclub scene was mainly so we could have a song and dance number but thankfully there are only 2 or 3 songs in the film.
Hijack stars Shiney Ahuja as Vikram Madan, a flight maintenance officer who was previously a pilot. A flight he was in charge of was taken over by hijackers and his wife was killed and he blames himself. His pride and joy daughter Priya is away at boarding school and as luck would have it, she's on her way to a debating competition accompanied by a teacher when the very plane she's on getted hijacked so of course her father decides he's going to get her off that flight safely at any cost. All very well as part of a storyline, what father wouldn't want to save his child from the hands of a bunch of deadly terrorists? Ahuja is a very able performer; he doesn't overdo it with the histrionics at all and is very credible as the strong but silent type boarding the hijacked aircraft whilst it's being refuelled. Of course, we're to believe that the hijackers are stupid enough not to notice someone getting on board the flight that they've worked so hard to take over. I have to say I've enjoyed watching Ahuja in the films I've seen him in so far.
Esha Deol plays Saira, an air hostess who assists Vikram in his quest to take out the hijackers. Quite a different role for her I felt, considering normally she plays roles where she has to show as much flesh as possible. It was nice for Deol to have a role for once where her good looks were played down. She didn't overact in Hijack the way she has done in some of her other movies and she had a good on screen chemistry with Ahuja as well as the cute child who played his daughter Ishita Chauhan. The child was very endearing but the teacher who was accompanying her might as well have not been there for all the support she gave to the child who was supposed to be in her care. Sack that teacher I say!
One scene which really annoyed me due to it being totally indigestible was when prior to the plane being hijacked, Esha Deol is dealing with a passenger and one of the terrorists sitting nearby reaches out and creepily strokes her bottom, she turns and gives him a dirty look. I'm fairly sure a terrorist wouldn't want attention drawn to himself in that manner and would an air hostess in this day and age actually let that pass without reporting the passenger for sexual harassment?
K K Raina as the terrorist who the hijackers want released was not at all impressive. He has a shaved head and beard and moustache and is almost a caricature of a terrorist with an extremely irritating laugh which made him come across as a pantomime baddie. He just wasn't remotely menacing and every time he appeared on screen he seemed to have a stupid grin on his face which I made me want to slap him and tell him to take the role seriously!
I liked the way they showed how the weapons were brought on board in flashback mode, fairly credible and one hopes this sort of lapse of security really does not take place and if it once did, let's hope it does not happen anymore! Aside from the character of Rashid Omar, I found the actors who played the hijackers to be pretty decent with none of them going over the top in their roles. On the other hand I've thankfully never experienced hijackers in real life so I have no idea how they might actually behave, I just felt they didn't overdo it compared to hijackers behaviour portrayed in some other films.
Whilst Hijack didn't do so well in the box office, I found it a fairly decent film. The hijacking wasn't glamorised - the action scenes weren't overly drawn out, the songs were kept to a minimum and the sub-plots were nice enough and not overly ambitious as to detract from the main storyline. There wasn't any gratuitous bloodshed; the scenes where people are shot were mostly done quickly and without being shown directly, i.e. off screen.
I'm giving Hijack a decent 4 out of 5 stars and a recommendation to watch if you enjoy this genre of movie.
Starring: Shiney Ahuja, Esha Deol
Director: Kunal Shivdasani (first film, previously directed adverts)
Produced by: Aleya Motion Magic Pvt Ltd
Release date: August 2008
Duration: 122 minutes
DVD extras: apart from the main movie, scene selection, song selection, subtitles (English only) and upcoming releases. My DVD purchased from Eros Entertainment had no other extras.
Summary: A decent enough hijack film