Common sense is something we assume everyone keeps in mind when making decisions. Heck, that’s why it’s “common” because we assume everyone is on the same page when it comes to basic decision making. The Hunt is a common sense nightmare that’s frustrating to endure but the reality of the situation may be spot on.
Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is a childcare worker who is accused of child abuse. The accusation sends shockwaves through a small community.
Director Thomas Vinterberg challenges the traditional roles of men in ‘The Hunt’. It’s best represented by the fact that the main character is a childcare worker, a profession traditionally dominated by women. The testosterone fueled men of the town still indulge in foolish heavy drinking sessions and public skinny dipping and their bravado is a stark contrast to Lucas who is sensitive and troubled with the breakdown of his family while enduring this terrible situation. It’s heartbreaking watching the community turn on him. Throughout Lucas’s turmoil, Vinterberg examines male relationships, the dangers of mob rule in a small town and the complexities of dealing with serious matters involving children.
The number of bad decisions made by the adults throughout The Hunt makes for uncomfortable viewing and it’s infuriating watching things go from bad to worse. After a while the outrage over the fallout from the accusations does become repetitive as small steps are made towards an outcome. Oddly, upon reflection there is a relisation that in a society where everyone is trying to be politically correct and children are over parented, a similar situation could happen in reality and it’s a souring thought and here lies the true impact of the film.
Mikkelsen’s performance is amazing and a scene that takes place in a supermarket is sure to be dissected for years in acting classes around the world. There is so much sorrow in his eyes as you witness his life falling apart and he is faced with a future burdened with mistrust from his peers.
The Hunt presents an upsetting situation and the comforting thought of “thankfully it’s just a film” is a hopeless one because of how close to the truth it possibly gets.
[rating=3] and a half
Cameron Williams - follow Cam on Twitter here: @popcornjunkies
Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg
Written by: Thomas Vinterberg & Tobias Lindholm
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen
The Hunt is released:
4 & 6 November 2012 at the Canberra International Film Festival
30 November 2012 UK