Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is a hard-working teacher that lives a relatively lonely and peaceful life, while also battling for the custody of his teenage son. Things, however, take a dramatic turn, when one of the children he tutors decides to tell a small lie that consequently begins spreading around the close-knit Danish town where they reside. The Hunt, also known as Jagten, is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video and boasts an 8.3 rating on IMDb.
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writers: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lasse Fogelstrom,
It’s not often you find yourself watching such a captivating and compelling film, but at the same time you find yourself in a position where you’d never want to recommend it to a friend or family member – well, that’s exactly the predicament I found myself in, after enduring all one-hundred and fifteen minutes of The Hunt. Of course, whenever subjects as sensitive as the ones explored in this flick are brought up, they have to be handled appropriately along with elements of realism too. Something I believe the filmmakers managed to achieve when diving into the relationship between a teacher and their pupil.
After finishing the movie, I quickly stumbled across a short review that claimed this was “scarier than any horror movie could be” and I’m struggling to find a better way of summarising the Danish release. As far as hard-hitting dramas go, I doubt there are many as impactful as this one was and as a viewer you found yourself going through such a wide range of emotions, whether it be anger, annoyance, frustration or even helplessness – it seemed to have it all, even with a little bit of much needed humour injected at times too.
One thing worth highlighting would have to be the importance of the characters. Many of them were included to make you feel a sense of irritation, while the lead character, Lucas, was injected for you to feel sympathy and empathy towards, a stark contrast to the others. Not only did the strong characters play a major part, but certain scenes did also. Quite a few of them were hard to watch, whether they were brutal in nature, showcasing anger and rage, or whether they were more quiet and subtle, where no violence was prevalent. In many cases, harsh words managed to do more damage than actions ever could.
Mads Mikkelsen may feature as the villain in many of his other projects, but in The Hunt, that couldn’t be further from reality. His portrayal of Lucas was effective, and he seemed perfectly suited to the lead role. Elsewhere, there was quite an extensive support cast, but the ones worth highlighting would be Thomas Bo Larsen and Lasse Fogelstromm, who starred as Theo and Marcus respectively.
Overall, The Hunt manages to demonstrate the dangers of innocent people being lambasted and shunned by their colleagues, friends and people that reside near them without any concrete evidence surrounding the allegations. The consequences of baseless and unproven lies can be brutal and perilous for those on the receiving end of them. A great film, but also a very hard film to watch.
“I want a word with Theo. Look into my eyes. Look me in the eyes. What do you see? Do you see anything? Nothing. There’s nothing. There’s nothing.”Lucas – The Hunt