Movie Review – The Hunt (2012)

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrom, Susse Wold, Alexandra Rapaport

A teacher who works at a primary school is dealing with some issues in his personal life, but just when things to be on an upswing his whole place in the community is threatened by an innocent lie.

Mads Mikkelsen gives another fantastic performance here as the beleaguered teacher who genuinely finds joy in his job, but undergoes scrutiny when a child accuses him of abusing her. It’s an issue that is a major concern and I liked the way the film handled it. Instead of having Mikkelsen’s intentions be ambiguous and the film be about the act of abusing a child, like say in Doubt, it’s clear that the child is lying and the film is more about the reactions of people and how the community responds to the accusations.

One of the main tenets of modern society is that people are innocent until proven guilty, but when it comes to crimes like this people are quick to condemn the accused. One of the main points in this movie is that people believe kids don’t lie. Well, I live with a mate and he has a four year old. Kids definitely lie! But I can understand how it can be a delicate scenario, and it’s clear that the people here are trying to work from the best of intentions.

The most emotional parts of the film come when the people closest to Lucas start to doubt him, and it throws his whole world into chaos. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see people you think know you intimately believe that you’re capable of such things. It’s a very dramatic and authentic look at how one man’s life can quickly unravel and I highly recommend The Hunt.

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