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The Hunt [Blu-ray]
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Thomas Vinterberg directs this Danish thriller. Mads Mikkelsen stars as Lukas, a recently-divorced primary school teacher locked in an acrimonious custody battle over his teenage son Marcus (Lasse Fogelstrøm). When five-year-old Klara (Annika Wedderkop), the daughter of Lukas's best friend Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen), tells the headmistress of the school - untruthfully - that Lukas has acted abusively towards her, the accusations quickly escalate and Lukas soon faces unanimous condemnation from everyone around him, including his closest friends.
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Top Customer Reviews
From a 'few foolish words' from Klara, Lukas' world is torn apart as he is wrongly-accused of child abuse. Every performance in this film crackles with energy yet is finely nuanced. The direction is superb; all autumnal hues and a tense 'what-will-happen-next?' constantly bubbling beneath the surface. Most importantly, you really care about the characters, one way or the other.
The Hunt could be seen as a companion piece to Vinterberg's Dogme Manifesto film 'Festen' but in my opinion is even more successful in exposing the horrors of human nature, family bonds and a very modern media-fueled hysteria. In simplistic terms, the moral is 'mud sticks' yet the complexities on display here are intelligent and deeply heart-felt.
Without a doubt one of the best films of 2012.
The film skilfully points the finger at others who might be letting Lucas carry the blame for their own misdeeds, and even arouses our own occasional doubts as to his innocence. However, for the most past we feel outrage on his behalf, and a helpless sense of his compounded fate. All the main characters display some depth and changes in their emotions - in the case of Lucas, his natural gentleness and passivity giving way to bursts of retaliation.
The drama is set against a background of the deer hunts which bind the men together in a macho culture which may of course brutally cast out someone who seems to have broken a taboo, and the availability of guns adds a continual underlying threat of violence or tragedy. The film has the entertaining knack of following what seems like a happy event with a sudden twist back into suffering for the unfortunate Lucas.
Although the prejudice and hysteria in the community may seem a little exaggerated, the ending does not baldly "spell everything out" but leaves areas of ambiguity to provide food for thought.Read more ›
Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen) is Lucas's best friend, and he's not coping too well with family life. Theo's troubled young daughter Klara (Annika Wedderkopp) seeks solace in Lucas and his dog Fanny. Karla oversteps their friendship, Lucas carefully rebuffs her but she interprets it as a rejection. Klara concocts a story that Lucas sexually abused her, and confides in her headmistress Grethe (Susse Wold) who mismanages the situation catastrophically. The school and the parents interrogate Karla, putting words in her mouth when she doesn't know what to say. Worst still, Grethe informs all the parents to look for signs of trauma in their children, and suddenly everyone begins to see signs of abuse that were never there, cue mass hysteria.
We are forced to watch an innocent man bullied, persecuted and ostracised because of the nature of the accusation pointed against him. Lucas's demise contrasts with Klara's position, she's since said to her parents that Lucas was innocent, but they refuse to believe her. This is a world where the innocence of a child is never in question, and its an interesting tactic by director Thomas Vintenberg to show the accuser in a negative light, especially one so young. The opposite is the case for Lucas, who is shown as diligently honest and trustworthy. Lucas is helpless, whether he reacts or not he is seen as the guilty party. Only one person managed to listen to reason throughout the mass hysteria, his close friend Bruun (Lars Ranthe) offering Lucas unwavering support and some much needed pitch-black humour to cope with his ordeal.Read more ›
The story takes place in a small Danish town. Lucas, about 40, is going through some hard times: divorce, irregular work, partial estrangement from his teenage son Marcus. The breakdown with Marcus hurts, as Lucas doesn’t want to lose the love, trust and respect of his son. But it’s tough because Marcus is apparently close to his mother and Lucas doesn’t look like much in the community, now teaching at a kindergarten instead of holding down a proper man’s job.
But at least friends are supportive, especially Theo, who more or less opens his home to him. Lucas gets on well with Theo, his wife Agnes and their young daughter Klara, aged about 6.
Lucas seems to like the kindergarten. He’s good with the kids, generous and playful. He even walks Klara to the school sometimes. They walk hand in hand. He’s protective of her as if she were his own daughter.
Like many children, Klara has an active imagination. She picks up on what she hears around her. Maybe she’s a little lonely, living in fantasy worlds she constructs for herself, as all children do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dangerous, compelling and authentic. Note perfect performances from the whole cast, but Mads Mikkelsen should get a medal for his part. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Arthur Lee
A richly evolving story.
Unlike another reviewer, I did not think the child was cast in a negative light. What a superb little actress! Read more
A tad bias re protagonist (Mads Mikkelsen), bar that said, it's a great film all-round. Sub titles in English.Published 2 months ago by Pen writer
This is a movie that will leave you unsettled after viewing. Brilliant!!Published 3 months ago by S. Hurley
Fantastic film and so the 5 stars but am not impressed that the seller is showing a blue case in the photo and I received a clear one, don't think I'm alone in wanting my cases to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr J D Wright