Who would have thought a Danish Art House film could be so thoroughly gripping?
‘The Hunt’ is a truly accomplished film, its simple premise and themes are executed perfectly. The film is hugely engrossing and completely and utterly infuriating, which is a testament to the merits of its acting, direction, script and hyper-realism.
The film follows Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a lonely primary school teacher who relishes his job and is popular with both the children and the local community. Just as he meets Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport) and begins a relationship with her, his relationship with another woman, 5-year-old Klara (Annika Wedderkopp), lands him in immeasurable trouble. What happens is a completely innocuous misunderstanding, but the community, the ‘adults’ who are supposed to be rational and fair, turn into a lynch mob.
The film is about the danger of mass-hysteria, ignorance and subsequently the frightening power of numbers. It teaches the importance of measure and consideration; it’s a much needed anecdote to the sensational vilification, general ignorance and trashy media that permeates our lives.
It’s the scare-mongering, amoral tabloids that partly brainwash and empower the dangerously ignorant lynch-mobs that arise whenever someone screams ‘paedophile!’ or ‘woman beater!’ These lynch-mobs normally consist of pugnacious, dreadful people who enjoy drama and violence rather than actually care about their cause.
The film is intelligently and thoughtfully written. The girl is by no means vindictive; as much as you want to vent your anger, she’s clearly far too young to understand what is happening. It’s the ‘adults’ who display their stupidity, their total lack of reasoning and fairness left me indignant for the entirety of the running time and subsequently the whole evening – the film really works.
There is a palpable sense of danger throughout the film, you genuinely fear for Lucas’ life; seldom have I empathised with a character so dearly. Who would’ve thought a Danish Art House film could be so thoroughly gripping?
‘The Hunt’ is a thought provoking, tactful and important film that should be seen by as many people as possible. It’s one of the best films of 2012.