The Hunt

The Hunt
The Hunt.2012.hd.1080p
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The lie is spreading.
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7.9/10 by 769 users
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A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son’s custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Title:The Hunt
Original Title:Jagten
Release Date:August 28, 2012
Production Co.:Zentropa Entertainments, Det Danske Filminstitut, Danmarks Radio (DR), Eurimages, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Sveriges Television (SVT), Svenska Filminstitutet (SFI), Nordisk Film- & TV-Fond, Film Väst
Production Countries:Denmark, Sweden
Director:Thomas Vinterberg, Annika Appelin
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:father son relationship, denmark, lie, pedophilia, kindergarten, father, deer, children, teacher, school, pedophile, divorce, hunting
Alternative Titles:
  • The Hunt - [GB]
  • La chasse - [FR]
  • Ловът - [BG]

The Hunt Reviews

  • Emotionally draining but truly moving "ripped from the headlines" story
    by larry-411 on 3 October 2012

    484 out of 508 people found the following review useful:

    "The Hunt" is the latest unflinching drama from Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg. Co-written with Tobias Lindholm, this is an ambitious star vehicle for legendary actor Mads Mikkelsen, an icon in Denmark and familiar face around the world as well. He plays Lucas, a small-town kindergarten teacher. At its heart the story is ultimately a powerful comment on prejudice, based on true incidents, that may leave you emotionally drained but truly moved.

    To delve into the plot here would reveal too much. So I'll just say that the film is quite dark and deals with some very difficult subject matter that can be very hard to watch at times. I'll leave it to you to decide if you want to be more aware of the details by looking up a basic synopsis.

    This is essentially a one-man show. While supporting cast members are all up to the challenge, Lucas is on on screen virtually every moment of the movie and its overall success rises or falls on his believability. Mikkelsen's delicately underplayed characterization of a man under fire likely won't be appreciated or understood by all viewers. His restrained performance is remarkable and does much to make The Hunt a haunting, memorable experience. Among the children, Annika Wedderkopp's portrayal of Klara is frighteningly brilliant. She steals every scene she's in.

    The physical beauty of the production belies the ugliness beneath. Natural lighting is used to match the heights and depths of the kindergarten children's emotions. Their innocence is reflected in its intensity. When surrounded by love, they are glowing. The color palette is warm and inviting. As fear rises, they appear in shadow. The tableau turns increasingly darker as the narrative does.

    This is a very quiet and thoughtful experience in many ways. Nikolaj Egelund's score is sparse. Editors Janus Billeskov Jansen and Anne Østerud keep the pace measured and deliberate. The focus is on the story. Long takes without dialogue are quite effective as so much is said in the eyes, in the faces, of Lucas, the kids, and townsfolk. Cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen allows the lush landscape of the Danish countryside to lull the viewer into a sense of peace, in contrast with the turmoil just under the surface, ready to jump out like a demon in a horror film. But these are real life nightmares, not the product of a genre writer's imagination, which chill to the bone.

    Hollywood could never touch this subject and have anywhere near the impact. Backed independently by Swedish and Danish production companies, director Vinterberg actually intended to set and shoot the picture in Canada but better tax incentives and financing led him back to his native country of Denmark. It doesn't matter, though. This is the kind of isolated little village that can be found anywhere in the world.

    "The Hunt" was easily the saddest film I've seen all year but in a cathartic way that only a great work of art can accomplish. It's a gritty and hard-hitting statement on our judgmental society that pulls no punches in its recounting of a controversial ripped-from-the-headlines story, repeated all too often in recent history, that's both poignant and polarizing in its authenticity.

    It was difficult for me to hold back tears during the screening. I broke down several times. Many will be touched by certain scenes more than others, but "The Hunt" is one of the most affecting and emotional films I've ever seen and one of the best of 2012.

  • Fantastic and compelling
    by lilibartley on 17 October 2012

    244 out of 263 people found the following review useful:

    I went to see this as part of the London Film Festival on Monday. I have to say that two days later it still resonates in my mind. Yes, it's a common tale that has been told in cinema before(man is wrongly accused and ostracised), but never so well, in my eyes. The acting is first class with no exception and the cinematography is perfect, creating a tense mood throughout the film. It's not for the faint hearted, but I think it's an important subject matter and very current. I've often wondered what it must be like for someone wrongly accused of such a crime and the hysteria that surrounds it. I have read reviews that say this is unrealistic but I don't agree, I only have to look on my own front doorstep in England to see exactly the same sort of behaviour, often far far more intense.

    I highly recommend it.

  • Excellent, moving film
    by Teaber71 on 12 October 2012

    246 out of 270 people found the following review useful:

    I saw this movie yesterday. I agree with previous reviewers, this is an excellent, moving, wonderfully acted movie. It is impossible I think to go through it without being brought to tears at one point or another. You also feel like screaming at some characters sometimes - "what are you doing? Open your eyes! Listen!" But the great thing is you always understand where each character is coming from- you might not agree with their actions, but nothing they do feels forced or unrealistic. Mikkelsen is amazing in this. I had seen him in a few movies before, and always thought highly of him, but here he is just incredible. It's a tough subject matter, and the movie does not shy away from it, but at the same time it is not vulgar or "in your face", it's tactful. I really loved it.

  • This is a Film with a capital "F"
    by Ovidiu Moisescu on 24 March 2013

    257 out of 299 people found the following review useful:

    I've been an IMDb user for several years. Still, this is my first review.

    After watching this Film, I just felt the urge to praise it. So here it is: thanks to the writer, director, actors and all those who created this masterpiece. It really has the power to convey real feelings to the watcher. Even though I kept telling to myself it was just a movie, it still made me care for the characters.

    It's a shame that such Films are not promoted as they should be. I am so sorry I had no idea about Danish cinematography until now. This movie will make stay alert for any new Danish production and look for older ones in a desperate try to recover what you could've experienced instead of all the commercial movie offer of Hollywood.

  • It's like a really messed up episode of Kids Say the Darndest Things.
    by ArmyOfSickness on 25 July 2012

    216 out of 252 people found the following review useful:

    I just saw The Hunt at the New Zealand International Film Festival and I walked out speechless. The Hunt has such a difficult story to tell but the film makers never go too far with little exposition. The film doesn't take one side over another, making the point that there isn't really any "bad guys" in the film, just people on opposite sides of one coin. The script is shocking, tragic and at times funny. The film is very intimately shot with an almost documentary approach. The film is mostly shot hand-held, giving you the feeling of realism. The camera likes to get in close and hold on the actors eyes and it is the eyes that tell the story. Most of the story is told through what was not being said, but instead with looks and pauses. Mads Mikkelsen is stunning as always as the man accused of sexual abuse. He plays the role with such sensitivity to the character but always keeps you guessing throughout the film. Annika Wedderkopp plays the role of the innocent young girl to perfection, again always keeping you guessing. Their relationship being one of the most interesting I've seen on film this year. If I had one complaint it would be that the main plot ends quite abruptly, not leaving me fully satisfied before it goes into the epilogue. The Hunt is drama at its best with beautiful performances from the entire cast. It is hard to explain how great this film is without giving away spoilers but the film gives no clear answers for such a difficult subject and it makes you ask yourself, what would I do?

  • A film for those who stupidly believe there's no smoke without fire.
    by TheSquiss on 5 December 2012

    171 out of 185 people found the following review useful:

    Sometimes children lie. Sometimes good people give in to hysteria, and lose all sense of reason. Sometimes they destroy innocent lives. The Hunt (aka Jagten) is the latest offering from Denmark that will knock you sideways. Forget the thrill of TV dramas The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge, Thomas Vinterberg's film is a shocking, harrowing experience that will affect you profoundly and will live in your mind for a very long time. The Hunt is for those who don't need to 'enjoy' a film to regard it as valid and who are not afraid to step into the darkness of the injustice and judgment of which we are all capable. More than that, it is a film for those who stupidly believe there is no smoke without fire. Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is a lonely teacher, divorced from his wife, kept apart from his son and devoted to the young children in his care at the nursery and within the community. He is a genuinely good man who has earned the respect of his peers, the love of a new girlfriend and the trust of the children who leap out of hedges to wrestle him and be chased around the playground by him. Klara (Annika Wedderkopp), the daughter of his best friend, Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen) has an innocent, childish crush on Lucas when two situations occur in quick succession. Firstly she is exposed to an explicit pornographic image and, secondly, Lucas gently chastises her for inappropriate behavior towards him. With a fertile imagination, childish indignation and no comprehension of the consequences, Klara makes an accusation against Lucas and his world implodes. For only the fifth time so far this year, I believe I have witnessed a near-perfect film. The Hunt is complete due to the tight screenplay, the sensitivity of Vinterberg's direction and the performances from principal and peripheral actors alike that are always absorbing and frequently astounding. Mikkelsen must certainly be the focal point of any review. His performance as Lucas causes the stomach to tighten and the back tingle as we wonder How would I react? In much the same way that Colin Firth's George crumpled when receiving the news of his partner's death in A Single Man, so Mikkelsen's Lucas is silently crushed as he is told that accusations have been made. Lucas suffers the physical and emotional wounds of slander and revenge for an act he cannot conceive and of which he has less knowledge than those who condemn and attack him. Equally, both Larsen and Anne Louise Hassing as Klara's parents carefully unwrap the turmoil any parent would suffer upon hearing their young child has suffered sexual abuse. It is a challenge not to yell at the screen "Don't be so stupid," or to scream expletives at Grethe (Susse Wold) the head teacher who loses her grip on both duty and reason and germinates the hatred and judgment that follow. As Lucas' son, Marcus, Lasse Fogelstrøm gives a heartfelt performance segueing seamlessly from courage to hurt to desperation and anger and his distress is a warning to those given over to rumours. The surprise, no, the absolute shock, with the casting is Wedderkopp. In an adult with twenty years experience on the big screen it would be a breathtaking performance; that this is the debut of a young child is staggering. She is entirely believable as the girl with the vivid imagination and understandable lack of foresight who is lead by over-enthusiastic adults and suffers her own punishment of confusion alone. The tragedy within The Hunt is explicit and unavoidable. The external tragedy is that it will probably not feature on most To See lists because it is both foreign and that the explosions are emotional rather than physical. Although it is Denmark's entry for Best Film in a Foreign Language for the Oscars, I suspect both Mikkelsen and Vinterbeg will be completely overlooked in their own right as with the principals of Beasts of the Southern Wild. Thank goodness for the BAFTAS and Mark Kermode! The events depicted in The Hunt are utterly horrific. Don't sit in front of the screen expecting a light, easy, thought provoking flick. I emerged numb, angry, helpless and terrified. But for one careless or cruel comment, it could happen to me. Or you.

  • Who would have thought a Danish Art House film could be so thoroughly gripping?
    by Jack Hawkins (Hawkensian) on 6 March 2013

    144 out of 165 people found the following review useful:

    '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 help in empowering 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.

  • The narrative's genius embeds observer-effect with great accuracy — unforgettable masterpiece.
    by aequus314 on 16 April 2013

    119 out of 134 people found the following review useful:

    Consider first the setting. It may be quiet and idyllic, but merry laughter and droll humour open the scene.

    A group of middle-aged manboys are clowning around by the lake. They are long-time friends of The Hunt's central character, Lucas — bespectacled 42 year old ex-professor, recently divorced and too old to be waddling in the water like a toddler at playtime.

    But the time is November in this unknown Danish village and everyone is having a good time in yet another get-together. Friends have known each other for years, people know people on a first name basis, many have lived here for generations and Lucas, is just another face in this jolly, close-knit community — nondescript and mellow, respected and well-liked.

    We are told that Lucas (played with artful and refined precision by Mads Mikkelsen) is not without the woes that come with modern adult life. Living alone and seeking custody of teenage son Marcus (newcomer Lasse Fogelstrøm), he is an ordinary man trying to rebuild from ground up as a kindergarten teacher. Immediately you can see that he is kind and friendly because Lucas walks young Klara home, and chats with her father, also his best friend, Theo. The two men share lasagne while fussing over pet dogs and hunting rifles. You acknowledge that Lucas has earned his place in this neighbourhood and relationships are in complete accord.

    Then the maiming of his middle-class existence begins.

    Klara develops a schoolgirl crush and puerile gestures are sensibly rebuffed. Nothing unpredictable or startling at this point. You've heard of such awkward incidents before. But Lucas is then accused of something he did not commit because Klara said something to avenge an earlier rejection.

    This is where The Hunt succeeds with penetrating insights into social phenomenon — soon after she causes harm, Klara attempts to recant the accusation without success. Here, writer-director Thomas Vinterberg absolves Klara from absolute blame and sets the stage for unreasonable and sinister conclusions.

    Watching the film from here on out is an unforgettable and riveting experience.

    It is natural to assume The Hunt simply alludes to the concept of "Witch Hunt", and contents itself with being dramatized fiction about falsely accusing the innocent. But if that were so, the brilliant scene where Klara was interviewed would not have alarmed with its disturbing methodology.

    The narrative's genius embeds observer-effect with great accuracy and insight into expectations of Klara, and her subsequent reaction. Vinterberg denies us simple solutions in which adults are perceptive enough to decipher the truth. For example, Ole the counsellor, ushered in from an unknown organization is scruffy and slightly unkempt. Characteristically unlikeable, he wears an implicit stereotype on his face and contaminates Klara's testimony by coaxing with a few hints, "Do you remember, if something white came out?"

    She stares blankly, yet revulsion grows and collective hysteria spreads — allowing The Hunt to unveil itself as a carefully executed masterpiece. The clues match only because suggestive prompts are pushing the limits of disturbing reality.

    The canvas is visually precise; casting is pitch-perfect (especially that of Annika Wedderkopp in her excellent portrayal of Klara) and the script is cautiously penned.

    Based on transcripts of police interrogations conducted on suspected paedophiles in Denmark, the US and several European countries; Vinterberg investigates cause-effect with chilling authenticity.

    There is no doubt that The Hunt is antithesis to "Festen", an earlier work depicting the same subject matter but don't be mistaken — this film does not involve itself with controversial material for the sake of obligatory endorsements.

    Relentless and intense plot is enriched by characters reacting with protective instincts that come naturally simply because they care for one another. We see the internal worlds of Lucas, Theo, Marcus and Klara, and observe the impact of rotten dynamic unfolding before our very eyes. This forces us, spectators with an omniscient view to sit-up and question judgement using rational exactitude.

    Short analysis of the ending >>> The Hunt is a superb, penetrating study of human agency and in the end, some mysteries remain unknowable. There are several narratives attempting to interpret the final scene, and who the shooter really is. This person may very well be the same culprit who killed Fanny. Is it Klara's older brother, who has demonstrated protectiveness over her? Perhaps a disgruntled retail assistant from the grocery store? Maybe a figment of Lucas's anxious imagination from knowing life can easily cast him from the status of a hunter to that of a prey?

    These questions continue to linger because The Hunt's technical finish is open-form and resists finite closure. The image of an unknown rifleman, indistinct and in hiding is a conveyor of figurative conclusions. By doing such, Vinterberg employs artistic device to suggest that attitudes may be outwardly placid, but remain violent and embittered covertly. Just as it is with real life, some hostility can't be neutralized and a malevolent presence continues to loom over the horizon, willing to perpetuate an abyss of moral panic.

  • Harrowing Film!
    by WilliamCKH on 6 March 2013

    91 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

    Whenever I watch a great film, I always have a sense of feeling cleansed, as if a soiled part of me has been washed away (for the time being anyway) by something on the screen that touches a better part of my soul. THE HUNT certainly did that for me. The story is a simple one, a man, a teacher, is wrongly accused of sexually misconduct with a young child and his community, filled with old friends and acquaintances, turn on him and make his life a living hell.

    Vinterberg's film brings to mind many of the same topics and is loaded with the same visceral feelings that his first film THE CELEBRATION touches upon, sexual deviancy, alienation, the mob mentality of the righteous, mixing innocence with brutality in many of its most heartbreaking scenes. Mikkelsen handles the main character Lucas both with restraint, and a little explosiveness when warranted. It is this fine line between stability and chaos, of the civilized world and anarchy, that give this film an unpredictable quality. The entire cast is wonderful and Vinterberg's direction and writing are spot on. Great Film!

  • Sometimes we're too quick to see men as monsters
    by Deathstryke on 19 December 2012

    110 out of 164 people found the following review useful:

    This film comes right after the hysteria generated by the Jimmy Saville abuse scandals and the revelations about pedophilia within the Catholic Church.

    Suffice to say it is refreshing and pertinent to see a story about the damage that can be caused to an innocent man, by a false report. We live in a society that is increasingly insecure and paranoid about pedophilia, rape and abuse. Virgin Airlines won't allow a man to sit next to a child who is traveling alone. Men are given funny looks in playgrounds. Mothers are reported to social workers when they give their screaming kids a slap in public.

    This film demonstrates the danger that comes from that hysteria and reminds us all that children, for whatever reason, do not always tell the truth. The consequences are brutal and made all the more realistic by a stellar cast of actors. I give props to the young actress playing Klara, the girl who makes the false accusation, she was fantastic.

    Distressing, highly emotional, but unlike an American movie, never over-bearing in its sentimentality, minus one or two slightly cliché metaphors in the dialogue. It makes you empathize with all the characters, not just the protagonist and really makes you think about what you would do if you found yourself, or someone you loved, in that situation.

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