LFF 2012: The Hunt | Film reviews, news & interviews
LFF 2012: The Hunt
In Thomas Vinterberg’s blistering drama a fog of doubt sweeps through a small town
Featuring a towering, Cannes-award-winning performance from Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt (Jagten) is a humane and horrifying story of the power of accusation from Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (Festen).
Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a kindergarten teacher in a Danish village. Though he’s a natural with the kids and is popular and connected locally, he’s a taciturn, somewhat enigmatic figure whose recent divorce has left him alone and missing his son. When his best friend’s tiny daughter Klara (Annika Wedderkopp) develops a crush on him, his rejection of her causes her to blurt out the most damaging of lies - that he has abused her. To add catastrophic insult, the school’s principal Grethe (Susse Wold) mishandles the matter spectacularly, resulting in a presumption of guilt and even the suggestion that other children have been targeted.
The Hunt highlights the vulnerability of those in the teaching profession to such accusations. It’s a prosaic horror story which puts a small community under a stark microscope. This is a modern day witch-hunt, presented as if it could happen anywhere. Vinterberg's film gets plenty of mileage out of the guilelessness of the catalyst Klara – making a focus of her uncomprehending face, and out of Lucas’ dignity in the face of extreme provocation. There’s never any doubt that he is an innocent man; in fact we are shown quite clearly how the idea formed in Klara’s mind. The Hunt’s strength lies in the potency of the injustice, and the raw cinematic force of Mikkelsen.
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
Mike Leigh does JMW Turner - and his own artistry - proud
Spectacular effects but little human interest in monster mash-up
Jean Epstein's twenties classic enriched by Cardiff composer's sonorous new score
Adaptation of Joe Hill's novel is marred by its bizarre clash of styles
Jake Gyllenhaal turns in a memorable performance in Dan Gilroy's dark thriller
Paranoid Fifties science fiction classic still packs a punch
The dark side of the American dream caught in searing US indie documentary
Outstanding observational documentary stalks the tired streets of Sofia
This dark re-imagining of Disney's wicked fairy delivers in style and effects
Andre Benjamin is early Jimi Hendrix in John Ridley's alluring biopic
A story-book monster stalks a mother and son, in emotionally rich Aussie horror
David Ayer and Brad Pitt take the war film by the scruff of the neck