How many times do you think children confide in adults only to have their words fall on deaf ears? Do you think adults twist and turn a child's words for their own personal gain without any regard to how many lives can be ruined or undeniably changed by such honest deceit in molestation cases? THE HUNT makes us think about just those very things. Does someone look guilty even though they aren't? Are children a little more manipulative than adults would like to believe? I know some of you are saying how could she even pose such a question about children? I tell you how. Have you ever seen "The Bad Seed" or "Bebe's Kids"? ...I'm just saying...
Lucas, a school teacher in a small Danish town, eagerly awaits custody of his only son and embarks on a promising new relationship with a co-worker when his luck goes terribly awry. One of the children (who just happens to be one of Kucas' best friend's kids), out of spite and jealousy, tells what seems like a harmless fib and ultimately changes the trajectory of Lucas' life and career. The child even retracts the statement once she realizes that it is causing Lucas pain, but her words fall on deaf ears.
I was singlehandedly reminded how easily judgement and hate can be displaced by simply not knowing all the facts. It's the same judgement that has caused fear of people with AIDS, same sex couples, women and minority races wanting equal rights and the list goes on. The day before Thanksgiving, I was called the "N" word over a parking spot. I have no doubt that these bunch of bullying men sat at a table the next day thanking the Lord for their blessings while surrounded by family and friends without any regard, guilt or shame at the ugliness they spewed from their lips in my direction. Thanksgiving is about being grateful not hateful.
In a very prolific scene from this film, Lucas goes grocery shopping for a few items to eat on the impending Christmas day, when he is beaten and kicked out of the store on Christmas Eve. These same individuals were just on a hunting trip with him sharing drinks a food a few weeks earlier. In fact, the whole town turns on him including his best friend, he loses his job and of course, spends time in jail and ultimately is not granted custody of his son.
I spent alot of time watching this film with my mouth open and jumping out of sheer thrills. I hadn't been this jumpy or totally engrossed in a thriller since "What Lies Beneath" with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Mads Mikkelsen proves why he is forced to be reckoned with and why he won the Actors Prize at Cannes for his portrayal of Lucas. All I have to say is excellently done! Annika Wedderkop makes you loathe and feel sorry for her all at the same time as little girl scorned, Klara. It was her first film, but she was totally engaging to watch...very impressed by her adapting to such an unforgiving medium.
When the 2014 Independent Sprit Awards were announced last week, it was no surprise to me that THE HUNT and Mikkelsen were nominated for their excellence in film. THE HUNT is playing now in an art house theatre near you. Check it out!!!