(Film Review) The Hunt (2012): haunting and heart-breaking.
The movie follows the story of Lucas (the amazing Mads Mikkelsen), a very dedicated primary school teacher in a small Danish community who has his life turn inside out due to an awful misunderstanding.
This is an amazing infuriating and frustrating account that takes on an emotional roller coaster. Incredibly sad and beautiful, it managed to look into the heart of mob hysteria, especially the moment when concerning citizens become a lynching mob – judge and jury of a situation they were not prepared to deal with, replicating the very violence they set out to end. Which such dark themes, it could be easily be a heavy-handed movie, but it was executed perfectly. The Danish sets, with increasingly dark and cold sceneries complement Lucas’s ordeal and his increasingly loneliness. Most of the characters emotions are clearly understandable and not in any way vilified or stereotypical.
Mikkelsen’s acting is stunning, however I must say 5-year old Klara (Annika Wedderkopp) was able to portrait all the innocent and confusion of this vulnerable child who is trying to express nothing but heartbreak and gets caught up in something that is much more malicious and dark for her understanding. This process giver her the attention that she needs, however what is important is that in any moment do we think that what happen to Lucas is actually Klara’s fault.
Finally, it is hard to have a movie on this topic and not fall into a dangerous path of blaming victims or expiating child abuse. In that sense, the director managed to get show that the issue at hand is not how this is less of a problem, it is how unprepared communities and institutions alike are to handle this issue.
First posted in Post-Production Reviews. Link to the film’s IMDB page.