Thursday, 16 January 2014
The Hunt 
When a child makes a complaint that is sexual in nature, the accused adult, instinctively and by default, comes under suspicion. As legal action is pursued against him on one hand and he becomes a social pariah on the other, the onus of proving his innocence curiously shifts on him. But, what if the accusation was a figment of the child’s imagination to begin with? Directed by co-pioneer of the Dogme 95 movement, Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt is a relentlessly grim, deeply disturbing and thoroughly captivating exploration of that. Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a divorced man working at a local kindergarten and striving to be allowed more time with his teenaged son, is a well-liked member of the community in the small Danish town he resides in – he is loved by the kids and bonds well with his all-male gang. He is also tentatively venturing into a relationship with his attractive colleague (Alexandra Rapaport). His well-set life, however, comes crashing down when the kid daughter of his best friend Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen), out of spite, makes wrongful allegations against him. In a matter of moments he becomes evil incarnate in everyone’s eyes, wreaking havoc on him both physically and psychologically. The downward spiral of his life was brilliantly paralleled with the increasingly vengeful and vicious reactions of the seemingly civilized and reasonable people around him who used to consider him a friend, as they pronounce him guilty without even giving him a chance. Mikkelsen gave an astounding performance – the scene in the church and the one in the supermarket were just shattering, while the cinematography, that gradually took darker hues, aptly complemented the film’s changing mood.
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama