The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg): Denmark

Reviewed by Robin Eriksson. Viewed on November 5 at the AFI Festival 2012.

This was probably the best movie i saw on the AFI Festival, the story was amazing. It was a Danish film made by Thomas Vinterberg. Then we have amazing Mads Mikkelsen as the main character who plays “Lucas”.

Lucas, 40 something, just started to recover after a devastating divorce. He had to take a job as a kindergarten teacher and his son says he wants to spend more time at his place since the divorce forced him to live with his mother. Lucas co-worker Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport) shows an interest in him so his life was starting to get back on track.
Just when his life was starting to make sense again a child’s innocent lie turned his life upside  down. A little girl in his kindergarten tells another kindergarten teacher that Lucas has molested her. The teacher says nothing to Lucas but instead she went to all the parents and the police to warn them. Lucas didn’t know anything but he feels of course that something is wrong when everyone starts to look weird at him and when the kids don’t want to play with him anymore. In this Danish hunter society with hunting trophies on the walls it’s of course not okay to be a pedophile. His childhood friends turn their collective backs against Lucas while pedophile rumor takes root. Innocence, it means a sudden nothing. “The little girl (Klara), she never lies.” Everything started to become more and more complicated and now it wasn’t just his closest friends and family that began to go against him, but also the whole society. People in the food stores would’t let him buy anything, people threw stones through his windows, they killed his dog, and many other things. And this emotional story is about what he does to make people believe he’s innocent.

This powerful and utterly gripping drama thriller, about friendship, compassion, and what an untrue rumor can do with a society, not to mention the innocent victim. It works thanks to the protagonist, Mads Mikkelsen’s Lucas is thoroughly  sympathetic and the actor shows a wide range of emotions: anger, sadness, despair, desperation. It is not difficult to understand what he’s going through. You could really feel his situation. In the begining he believed that everything would work out in the end because he was innocent, but then he felt that more and more people went against him and his son barely trusted him anymore. So he had a very tough period in his life. Even in the end of the film you don’t know how this works out for him.

To conclude I have to recommend this movie to anyone who appreciate a good thriller!

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