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Review of "THE HUNT"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 30th April 2013.

REVIEW: "THE HUNT" by Jayne Waterford

Thomas Vinterberg's "THE HUNT" ("JAGTEN") (2012) is a Danish film set in Denmark and spoken in Danish with English subtitles. "JAGTEN" stars the glamorous Mads Mikkelson as a kindergarten teacher Lucas, a man who enjoys his work. In "JAGTEN" Vinterberg examines the phenomenon of mass hysteria as he sets an unusual little girl with the task of lying about Lucas. The township then turns against Lucas, ruins his life and as the film unfolds he claws it back.

"JAGTEN" is translated into a borish and direct English by Pietrre Beija Rosa and is as pleasant to read as a Gabriel Garcia Marcez book translated into English by a German. It doesn't detract but one is distracted in quieter moments when a familiar word is pronounced and not even a word that fancy is used in it's English stead.

One gets the feeling that the mass hysteria surrounding the ruin of Lucas' life is metaphoric. A certain number of years pass before everyone can perceive their own foolishness. Every now and again the little girl who accuses Lucas of showing her his stiff willy yells that she had said something foolish and none of this was meant to happen. There is always a reassuring adult around to pat her and insist that it

really did happen.

You can't help but be a little suprised that everyone in this film is indigenous. Everyone is propserous and comfortable, even the kindergarten teacher can afford a lovely home, though there is a hint about his established family. Everyone seems to be normal. And young men are presented with their first rifle at a coming of age celebration.

Mikkleson is beautiful. He is manly. He is a kindergarten teacher as if men teaching in kindergarten is perfectly ordinary. Sadly it's so rare. I've heard men say they would love to do this kind of work but that they are very worried about this sort of situation. Well, go and see this film and Lucas will show you what to do in this predicament. You fight your way out. Or in Lucas' case, you fight your way back in. There is some fighting in this film.

We empathise with his plight. His culture is violent, as are most against child molesters. We never have any opportunity to doubt his innocence. He holds his ground and that's about it. You know the stray shot in his direction is coming. It's a sobering note to go out on.

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 30 April 2013.

Thomas Vinterberg's "THE HUNT" ("JAGTEN") (2012)
Release Date 2nd May 2013
Category Drama
Running Time 116 minutes (1 hour, 56 minutes)
Rating MA 15+
Origin English and Danish with English subtitles.
Awards Winner Best Actor, Mads Mikkelsen, Cannes International Film Festival 2012, Winner Best International Independent Film, British Independent Film Awards 2012
Director Thomas Vinterberg
Stars Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen and Bjarne Henriksen


Official Blurb "Mads Mikkelsen [Nikolaj Arcel's "A ROYAL AFFAIR" (2012)] delivers a superb, award-winning performance in this electrifying new film from Thomas Vinterberg, the acclaimed, uncredited director of "THE CELEBRATION" ("FESTEN") (1998). On "FESTEN" Thomas Vinterberg was credtied for screenplay & idea. He shared the screenplay credit with Mogens Rukov.
Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is beloved by his students and fellow teachers at his local kindergarten. After a divorce, made especially painful when his wife moved away from town with their teenage son, Marcus, Lucas' life is recovering with a new girlfriend, and the reforging of his relationship with Marcus.

His world comes crashing down, however, when a young girl in his class accuses him of inappropriate behaviour. It's a simple lie that spirals out of control and the small community suddenly finds itself in a collective state of hysteria. Long held friendships are tested as mistrust spreads, and Lucas must summon all his strength in a brave fight for his life and dignity."