Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Hunt/Jagten

Movie Name: The Hunt
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrom, Susse Wold, Anne Louise Hassing, Lars Ranthe
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Thomas Vinterberg, director at one point associated with the cinematic movement Dogme 95 (which he co-authored with Lars Von Trier) is back the with celebrated "The Hunt". The film follows the story of Lucas, a divorced father, who is a teacher in a kindergarten, in a small town in Denmark. Lucas is beloved by everyone, and starts a relationship with a fellow co-worker. That relationship comes to a halt when Lucas becomes the target of a serious accusation which stems from the young daughter of his best friend: Klara accuses Lucas of having inappropriate sexual conduct towards her. The police gets involved in the situation, and Lucas' reality worsens by the minute, with the entire community responding with violence to his presence.
"The Hunt" is a film that is relentless in it's approach to detail what occurs when a person's life slowly starts to unravel endlessly. Lucas is a regular man, with an innate kindness towards children and people in general - when the accusation appears, the community who always knew him, rapidly forgets the years of common living, and attacks him endlessly. Thomas Vinterberg smartly creates a reality that is close to anyone, inhabiting this world with people that could live anywhere. Lucas is a man beaten down, hunted in more than one way, and it's devastating seeing the persecution that is created around him. Mads Mikkelsen creates a character that is fully dimensional: a father who's trying to lead a normal life, and yet finds himself cornered by a situation that is overwhelming, abandoned by most of the people he thought were friends. His anguish and sadness are heartbreaking. A devastating film worth watching.