The film from Denmark, directed by Thomas Vinterberg, revolves around a 40-year-old man who is wrongly accused of child molestation.
The Danish film was screened at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival under the 'World Cinema' category. The plot is gripping and the subjects discussed (which have been dealt with subliminally) are important, and well portrayed. Performances by the cast are brilliant and the writing-direction is simple yet sparkling.
40-year-old Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is already going through a rough time post his divorce, when he is falsely accused of sexually abusing his best friend Theo's daughter Klara. How he comes to terms with the humiliation of being targeted as a child molester, along with losing the trust of his near and dear ones, including his son Marcus and new girlfriend, and ultimately strives to get justice is what ‘The Hunt’ is all about.
The story deals with various subjects on different levels. Be it child molestation, trust issues, judgemental societies, mindless conjecture, character assassination etc. All of these subjects have been portrayed in a manner which mirrors the state of the society that we live in. We tend to come to conclusions easily and these convictions make us form judgements about the 'suspects' and we do not hesitate before harming them in any way. This is the reality, and that is what the film talks about. It also deals with the perceptions of the wronged individual. The helplessness that emanates from the protagonists face is impactful, intense and terrifying. Actor Mads Mikkelsen delivers a superlative performance in the film, as does the rest of the cast.
The screenplay of the film was brilliant. The way the audience is kept guessing right till the climactic moments in the film is exemplary. There are moments in the film where you may not agree with what's happening on an idealistic level. However, if you give it a deeper thought, you will find that so many instances incorporated in the film portray reality. The protagonist is beaten, abused, humiliated and 'wronged' time and again, but you keep hoping till the end that redemption will come. The film does not consciously project this hope and optimism. ‘The Hunt’ is all about the bitter truth. One which everyone eventually has to come to terms with. It does not have a convenient ending, but one should remember that not all endings are that.
Must, must watch film. It's a Danish film subtitled in the English language. Get hold of it anyhow and watch.