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.
Directed: Thomas Vinterberg
What we think: The Hunt is a gripping yet dramatic look at the persecution of one man in a small Danish town, after he is accused of sexually assaulting a young girl.
With such subject matter being so delicate it needed a careful approach as its something that is so true to life it can resonate with peoples moral views in quite a significant way.
Lucas (Mikkelsen) is a nursery teacher, quiet and reclusive he lives alone trying to come to terms with the fact that he is not able to see his son as much as he would like to.
Lucas clearly has a fond affection for the children that he looks after, but his life is torn apart one day by a small white lie that sets the wheels in motion for a real life witch hunt.
The film is hard to watch at times and rightly so, it’s dealing with something that occurs in the real world and it can be stomach churning. But director Thomas Vinterberg gets to the heart of the matter quickly and in such a way that it creates compelling interest.
Former Bond villain and TV Hannibal star Mikkelsen is an exceptional centre piece as a loving father desperate for a way out, and in such a small environment it seems to be a hard task to accomplish.
It’s at times like this that you know who your real friends are, and Lucas comes to realise that in the harshest of circumstances as he is slowly but surely chased down by a hunting pack of townsfolk.
How apt it is then that Mikkelsen seen hunting deer in the forest at the start, now knows himself what that feeling is like as the hunter now becomes the hunted.
It’s a film that genuinely makes you angry, your emotions are pulled one way and then the next as you try to put yourself in the shoes of a number of different people, but at the end of the day it comes down to one thing, guilty until proven innocent.
At the start we’re quite sure that Lucas is innocent, but there is enough in the narrative that at times we question ourselves in what is a slow burning story executed with the highest precision.
The supporting cast are all brilliant, and do themselves credit to subject matter that must be hard to act against, especially when there are children involved.
People will do evil things when pushed to the limit by what they feel is right or wrong as the case maybe, and its a journey that Vinterberg takes us on in horrifying consequences.
The Hunt expels emotions such as paranoia, guilt and suspicion, all in a community bonded closely by long lasting friendships they have with each other. The closing scene proves that even after time has passed some things are gone but certainly not forgotten.