• Review: The Hunt (2012)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Sun Sep 18 11:15:37 2016
    THE HUNT (2012)
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2016 David N. Butterworth

    ***1/2 (out of ****)

    Mads Mikkelsen is staggeringly good in Thomas Vinterberg's harrowing drama, "The Hunt" ("Jagten"). He plays a beloved kindergarten teacher who's
    accused of an indecent act by one of his charges (Annika Wedderkopp) and quickly finds himself ostracized by a community that shoots first, then
    shoots again later. This lie, resulting from an immature combination of embarrassment, jealously, and fear, propagates like a cancer, infecting everything and everyone it touches. Once spoken, it cannot be undone.
    Longtime friendships are compromised and recently-formed relationships
    sour. As witnesses to this injustice, we feel Lucas' pain acutely, all the more so since there is zero proof of impropriety. We know he's innocent.
    Yet why would a child lie about something like this? To what end?
    Mikkelsen is always worth a watch, whether emoting in his native Danish
    ("After the Wedding," "A Royal Affair," "Adam's Apples") or playing Bond villain Le Chiffre in 2006's "Casino Royale," Hannibal Lecter in the NBC television series "Hannibal," or the accountant in Rihanna's music video
    "Bitch Better Have My Money"). In "The Hunt," Mikkelsen plays Lucas sympathetically. It's a powerful performance, remarkably controlled; Lucas does not explode in anger or denial but attempts a calm and logical
    response. He fails, and as the hysteria mounts, he shuts down emotionally, incredulous. Vinterberg orchestrates everything intelligently and with purpose, but it's Mikkelsen who makes this personal horror show his own.

    David N. Butterworth

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