With Festen (1998), director Thomas Vinterberg made a very impressive movie. Even though it was shot cheaply on DV cameras it’s story was one you would not be able to forget soon as it’s about a family get together and the dark past of the father of the family who abused his children. With The Hunt Vinterberg again has made a very interesting and provocative movie about abuse, but this one’s about someone who is wrongfully accused of it.
Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) works at a day care center and is always having fun with the kids. One of the kids is the daughter of his best friend, who tells the boss of the daycare center that Lucas has done something unappropriate. Even though this is not true it shows the way such a little lie can quickly unwind into something which can destroy lives, simply because of the reaction of those trying to find out if it’s true and putting words into the mouth of child and what happens if parents and police get involved. Lucas suddenly sees his life being torn apart, with almost no one believing him. Even his friends don’t trust him anymore and even doing his grocery shopping becomes a difficult thing.
Abuse is a difficult and sensitive subject to make a movie about, but Vinterberg has done an amazing job. Lucas becomes a “hunted” person and it shows how difficult it is to get rid of the ideas others might have about you. Mads Mikkelsen plays the character perfectly, initially sure of himself and reacting in control, but as his normal life get pulled away from him starting to feel unsure of how to react to things. At the same time you also understand why people around him would react the way they do, because as a parent I’d probably react the same. You assume that those who tell you what has happened have looked at the case and are sure about what they tell. The Hunt is a movie that will move you and think about the effect a situation like this can have on everyone involved. Worth checking out!