Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg
The cast includes:
- Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas
- Alexandra Rapaport as Nadja
- Thomas Bo Larsen
- Lars Ranthe
- Anne Louise Hassing
- Susse Wold
So what’s it about?
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son’s custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie. (Source: IMDB)
Feature films by Thomas Vinterberg:
- Sneblind (1990) (short)
- Last Round / Sidste omgang (1993) (short)
- The Boy Who Walked Backwards / Drengen der gik baglæns (1994) (short)
- The Biggest Heroes / De største helte (1996)
- The Celebration / Festen (1998)
- The Third Lie (2000)
- It’s All About Love (2003)
- Dear Wendy (2005)
- A Man Comes Home / En mand kommer hjem (2007)
- Submarino (2010)
- The Hunt / Jagten (2012)
No smoke without fire. So the saying goes.
And in this latest incendiary film by Danish director, Thomas Vinterberg, we are presented with movie which taps into the zeitgeist issue of child molestation. That an innocent man could be wrongly accused of such a crime based on a single white lie is the premise of the story. Thereafter, we are led inexorably to accusation and counter-accusation, tears and fisticuffs, suspicion, paranoia and maddening rage. Wholesome stuff.
Anchoring the whole thing is a heart-rending central performance from Mads Mikkelsen, as the teacher (Lucas) accused of the unthinkable crime of molesting his best friend’s daughter. The need to maintain sanity and order in the ensuing chaos leads initially to a cold detachment as he awaits vindication and then later, when the world and his wife have turned against him, to indignant despair and the kind of soul-bearing that is hard to watch without shedding at least one tear.
The accusations leave their mark on the sleepy community. Permanent cracks, if not fissures, appear in the strong small-town relationships that had once made men ‘brothers-in-arms’. Not to mention, the lingering suspicion that all but extinguishes Lucas’s new-found romance or the psychological damage the whole affair has on his teenage son (a brilliantly emotionally-charged performance from newcomer Lasse Fogelstrom) who rages uncomprehendingly at the wrongs done to his father. After all is said and done, and the inquisition has run its course, you are left wondering if Lucas will ever be truly safe or ever truly free of the rumours which have so dogged him and wrecked his life. No smoke without fire after all. So the saying goes. And when has a saying ever been wrong? Erm….
IN SHORT: An interesting and powerful take on the accusation of child molestation in a small rural town with a devastating central performance.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Mads Mikkelsen at his finest.
What did you think? Did you enjoy “The Hunt”? Rate it using the star rating below and/or leave a comment at the foot of the page.
Watch the trailer here: