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 10,000 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?
Atmospheric Spanish crime thriller deserves its haul of awards
A fledgling film festival in western Poland has quickly emerged as one of the most popular in Europe
Striking images, mystifying story make Alexei German's final film a one-of-a-kind
Nuclear weapons in India and Pakistan, and wider issues, in insightful documentary
Far-from-formulaic thriller from actor-director Joel Edgerton, with Rebecca Hall
Fifth time around, and still nothing is impossible for Tom Cruise
theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top movies out now
The earnest 1979 TV series where Nigel Kneale’s professor bowed out
Dziga Vertov's dazzling 1929 opus captures a day in the life of an idealised Soviet city
Long overdue tribute to a forgotten British film-maker
Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts confront mid-life anxieties in Noah Baumbach's wry comedy
Jake Gyllenhaal is the human punchbag seeking redemption in Antoine Fuqua's boxing drama