The Hunt (15)

Film

TheHunt_01.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Nov 27 2012

What does it feel like to be wrongly accused of being a paedophile? ‘It gets into your bones… it gets into your soul,’ Lord McAlpine said recently. In this nerve-shredding drama from Denmark, a good man’s life is ripped apart by false allegations that he sexually abused a child. He didn’t do it. The little girl fibbed (in the same way she might tell the teacher her best friend gave her a Chinese burn). But her innocent lie spreads like a virus, killing trust and goodness in a close-knit small town.

Mads Mikkelsen is best known for playing baddies – he was the villain who weeped blood in ‘Casino Royale’. Here, he’s the accused, Lucas, a teacher working as an assistant at a nursery after his school shuts down. The little girl, a pupil, is also his best friend’s daughter. Lucas is none too worried at first – it’ll all be sorted by teatime, right? The police are called. Parents are warned to be on the look-out for telltale symptoms, like bedwetting and nightmares (in children!). Lucas is branded a serial paedophile. The town goes from civilisation to the Dark Ages in about 15 minutes.

This is lean, fast-paced storytelling from director and writer Thomas Vinterberg, who made ‘Festen’ in 1998 (about a paedophile father who raped his children). This has the same stripped back docu-drama style. Which focuses our attention on the acting – and it’s flawless. We watch the story play out in the reactions of everyone involved. As the only man working at the nursery, the kids adore Lucas. After hearing the allegations, a teacher watches him rough-play with some boys. We see the scene through her eyes. It looks suspicious. It really does.

These are all good people, and there’s a kind of moral puzzle here. We always have to listen to children. Always. But what if your best friend was accused? Would you believe him? At the other end of the scale, what kind of world is it when a man can’t hold hands with a child who isn’t his own – in case someone accuses him of being a paedo?

Mikkelsen is gripping. There’s a moment when it hits home that this is for real. You can see the change passing over his face: he will never see the world the same again. Nor will the world look at him the same, because, as we all know, there is no smoke without fire. What a knotty, frighteningly real drama ‘The Hunt’ is. And – in the light of the Jimmy Savile case and its fallout – what a very timely contribution to the issue it is.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Nov 30, 2012

Duration:

115 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:18
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
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LiveReviews|40
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max

I think it was Klaras mum. Nevertheless it was the taking of the shot that mattered more. People simply wont forget. Excellent movie.

Lawrence

Brilliant film. Somehow this film really made me feel the emotions that Lucas must have been feeling. Rejection, hatred, disgust and false accusation. The idea that doubt can spread like a virus is amazingly executed here. The shot at the end I think was either Klara's brother, or a way that the author wanted to summarise Lucas' bad luck in the film was like being the victim of a hunt, and that some people in the town will still have this thought of him being a paedophile. Makes you think anyway.

Lawrence

Brilliant film. Somehow this film really made me feel the emotions that Lucas must have been feeling. Rejection, hatred, disgust and false accusation. The idea that doubt can spread like a virus is amazingly executed here. The shot at the end I think was either Klara's brother, or a way that the author wanted to summarise Lucas' bad luck in the film was like being the victim of a hunt, and that some people in the town will still have this thought of him being a paedophile. Makes you think anyway.

greegetw

Lucas' best friend said in one scene that he is going to put a bullet in his head if the abuse of his daughter turns out as true ... regarding this circumstance for me it may be most likely him than anyone else, because I don't relate any other character with this shooting-at-poor-Lucas-picture ... but this is at least pretty far-fetched and I agree with pthalo that it isn't really relevant who exactly took the shot, main thing is the audience knows it isn't over yet for some or someone in the village ;)

greegetw

Lucas' best friend said in one scene that he is going to put a bullet in his head if the abuse of his daughter turns out as true ... regarding this circumstance for me it may be most likely him than anyone else, because I don't relate any other character with this shooting-at-poor-Lucas-picture ... but this is at least pretty far-fetched and I agree with pthalo that it isn't really relevant who exactly took the shot, main thing is the audience knows it isn't over yet for some or someone in the village ;)

pthalo

Regarding the shot at the end of the movie. While many will try to make claims of it as one person or another, that isn't really relevant. It does not matter who took the shot, only that it was taken. It was meant to communicate the continued animus that is felt toward Lucas. The set up was the arrival at the lodge and the seeming acceptance of Lucas back into the society he once enjoyed. The shot was to demonstrate that some have never accepted the truth and clung to the falsities presented in the story. When someone is falsely accused of a crime, it is damaging beyond belief. Stigma and the hatred of others are not shed because it becomes apparent that the accusations were false. There will always be those that feel the accusation must have had merit.

pthalo

Regarding the shot at the end of the movie. While many will try to make claims of it as one person or another, that isn't really relevant. It does not matter who took the shot, only that it was taken. It was meant to communicate the continued animus that is felt toward Lucas. The set up was the arrival at the lodge and the seeming acceptance of Lucas back into the society he once enjoyed. The shot was to demonstrate that some have never accepted the truth and clung to the falsities presented in the story. When someone is falsely accused of a crime, it is damaging beyond belief. Stigma and the hatred of others are not shed because it becomes apparent that the accusations were false. There will always be those that feel the accusation must have had merit.

Rajan

Wonderful film. Regarding the matter of who shot at lucas at the end, I suppose it is klara's brother. In one of the scenes it was shown as he was crying for what happened to his sister. Even in the scene at the end when the shooter shown in a shadow, it looks like a young boy.

Rajan

Wonderful film. Regarding the matter of who shot at lucas at the end, I suppose it is klara's brother. In one of the scenes it was shown as he was crying for what happened to his sister. Even in the scene at the end when the shooter shown in a shadow, it looks like a young boy.

Kay

I've just seen this for the second time. It is chilling, gripping, disturbing, plain delightful in parts and a reminder how everything can fall apart in a very short time. Mads is a great actor, but I don't think sufficient acclaim has been poured on the little girl. I'm not sure that a child of that age would have the nous to say to her parents, "I've said something foolish." But that's the script that didn't quite get that right. But otherwise, its a thought-provoking scene that everyone should watch.

Kay

I've just seen this for the second time. It is chilling, gripping, disturbing, plain delightful in parts and a reminder how everything can fall apart in a very short time. Mads is a great actor, but I don't think sufficient acclaim has been poured on the little girl. I'm not sure that a child of that age would have the nous to say to her parents, "I've said something foolish." But that's the script that didn't quite get that right. But otherwise, its a thought-provoking scene that everyone should watch.

Neil

Once the seed of doubt is planted, people don't forget. That seed of doubt grows into all kinds of things. People's opinions get carried away, people's imaginations run wild. Things that may or may not have happened become the foreground of people's darkest imaginations. People always assume the worst.

Neil

Once the seed of doubt is planted, people don't forget. That seed of doubt grows into all kinds of things. People's opinions get carried away, people's imaginations run wild. Things that may or may not have happened become the foreground of people's darkest imaginations. People always assume the worst.

Helen Pitt

I`ve just watched it, it is a totally gripping film, marvellously acted by everyone even the little girl who plays Klara. My heart was in my hands during the (nearly) final scene when the teacher, about whom she made the false allegations encounters her at a party. Highly recommended, wonderful film, wonderful filming of some beautiful countryside scenes and close up for real looks at people`s private lives.

Helen Pitt

I`ve just watched it, it is a totally gripping film, marvellously acted by everyone even the little girl who plays Klara. My heart was in my hands during the (nearly) final scene when the teacher, about whom she made the false allegations encounters her at a party. Highly recommended, wonderful film, wonderful filming of some beautiful countryside scenes and close up for real looks at people`s private lives.

Siward

Those who think the film implausible are missing the point - it's supposed to be implausible: he is attacking a sentimental conception of children, just as he was in Festen (from a different angle and in a different context). A gripping, angry, brilliant film.

Siward

Those who think the film implausible are missing the point - it's supposed to be implausible: he is attacking a sentimental conception of children, just as he was in Festen (from a different angle and in a different context). A gripping, angry, brilliant film.

Peter Ludbrook

An extraordinarily compelling film brilliantly acted, superbly photographed and intelligently directed. Both I and my companion were on the of our seats as to what would happen next. If I have a minor caveat it was with the statement by the achool's head, Grethe, to the effect that children always tell the truth. Sadly that isn't always the case and it does make it more difficult when they do tell the truth. But that aside it was an incredibly good fim about a very difficult subject. It shows how easy it is for a witch-hunt to start and I can't be alone in wondering how I would react in similar circumstances. Definitely 5 stars and certainly one of my Movies of the Year.

Peter Ludbrook

An extraordinarily compelling film brilliantly acted, superbly photographed and intelligently directed. Both I and my companion were on the of our seats as to what would happen next. If I have a minor caveat it was with the statement by the achool's head, Grethe, to the effect that children always tell the truth. Sadly that isn't always the case and it does make it more difficult when they do tell the truth. But that aside it was an incredibly good fim about a very difficult subject. It shows how easy it is for a witch-hunt to start and I can't be alone in wondering how I would react in similar circumstances. Definitely 5 stars and certainly one of my Movies of the Year.

sticky

Great, gripping Norwegian drama and fantastic acting....... ....just kidding, Henrik!

sticky

Great, gripping Norwegian drama and fantastic acting....... ....just kidding, Henrik!

Sutton

Superb, one of the films of the year. The Danes do great drama (and jumpers)!!

Sutton

Superb, one of the films of the year. The Danes do great drama (and jumpers)!!

Danuta in Glasgow

Brilliant Film - the Swedes do such good drama! Mads Mikkelsen plays the part well - as someone who hasn't been told the charges but everyone else seems to have made their minds up about it. It slowly unfolds with some quite sad events up to an ending which shows that once branded a paedo you can never be quite forgiven or trusted again. Excellent acting all round . Do go and see this one!

Danuta in Glasgow

Brilliant Film - the Swedes do such good drama! Mads Mikkelsen plays the part well - as someone who hasn't been told the charges but everyone else seems to have made their minds up about it. It slowly unfolds with some quite sad events up to an ending which shows that once branded a paedo you can never be quite forgiven or trusted again. Excellent acting all round . Do go and see this one!

Marisa

Totally agree with the other users, this film deserves 5* EASILY. I loved it. Incredibly compelling, with dark humour and sadness, beautiful shots, amazing acting. I thought the little girl was amazing. Must see.

Marisa

Totally agree with the other users, this film deserves 5* EASILY. I loved it. Incredibly compelling, with dark humour and sadness, beautiful shots, amazing acting. I thought the little girl was amazing. Must see.

Bess Gressingham

An amazingly intense and brilliant film. I don't agree with Geoff Andrew about the implausibilities. The headmistress was trying to deal with an unusual situation, and while trying to do her best, ended up handling the affair appallingly badly. The situation snowballed, and gave free rein to a witch hunt. I agree that poor Fanny the dog might as well have had a target painted onto her side, but her part in the story was necessary to give depth to Klara's attachment to Lucas. Wonderful performances and a beautifully shot film. Completely engrossing.

Bess Gressingham

An amazingly intense and brilliant film. I don't agree with Geoff Andrew about the implausibilities. The headmistress was trying to deal with an unusual situation, and while trying to do her best, ended up handling the affair appallingly badly. The situation snowballed, and gave free rein to a witch hunt. I agree that poor Fanny the dog might as well have had a target painted onto her side, but her part in the story was necessary to give depth to Klara's attachment to Lucas. Wonderful performances and a beautifully shot film. Completely engrossing.

ghidera

Sorry, Andrew we'll, shake the camera around a bit more and not let the dog go outside which hopefully will make it all the more plausible for you. Do not listen readers, this is one of the years most powerful and relevant films. Great performance from Mads Mikkelsen and after a long wait, Vinteberg's back!

Sara

Agree with Jo, it's not meant to be a 'realistic' film - think Festen, think group hysteria, think herd mentality. Brilliant. What a crappy trailer for the LFF though - who exactly is the target audience - and how sad they can't be arsed to produce a cartalgue for the firts time in my 30 years of LFFs.

Sara

Agree with Jo, it's not meant to be a 'realistic' film - think Festen, think group hysteria, think herd mentality. Brilliant. What a crappy trailer for the LFF though - who exactly is the target audience - and how sad they can't be arsed to produce a cartalgue for the firts time in my 30 years of LFFs.

Jo

A searing movie, extremely powerful and brilliantly directed, Mads Mikkelson excellent, can't believe Time Out gave it 3 stars. Vinterberg on true form.

Jo

A searing movie, extremely powerful and brilliantly directed, Mads Mikkelson excellent, can't believe Time Out gave it 3 stars. Vinterberg on true form.