The Hunt (2012) Directed by Thomas Vinterberg. With Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp and Lasse Fogelstrom.
Thomas Vinterburg’s The Hunt plays as equal parts drama and horror. The story focuses on teaching assistant, Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) and an unfortunate lie that leads him to become a vilified member of his local community.
This is a film that manages to achieve levels of great emotional depth with very small movements. Through Mikkelsen’s natural screen presence, the film gathers tremendous power as it reaches a moving climax and poses interesting points for debate. The argument for ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is stated perfectly here, but that irrespectively, mud sticks.
Aside from Mads Mikkelsen’s beautifully sensitive performance, the young actors in the film- Annika Wedderkopp (Klara) and Lasse Fogelstrøm (Marcus) – both deliver astonishingly well focused turns. For Wedderkopp in particular, given her tender age, the almost palpable unease and sometimes downright creepiness of her portrayal is nothing short of miraculous. Credit must be due in part to Vinterberg’s skill as a director. It’s often said that directors get performances out of actors, and one would assume fully more so for children.
For its emotional heft and frankly upsetting depictions, you might never feel the need to watch The Hunt again. What is for sure, though, is that you’ll be talking about it long afterwards, as it raises many topics for discussion including the way in which society often acts and judge and juror, and how in some cases the distortion of the truth can ruin lives. 5/5