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The Hunt - Film Review

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by Katherine Thomas (subscribe)
Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published April 16th 2013
The Hunt is a gripping new film by Thomas Vinterberg that engages the viewer from the get-go. Whilst the dialogue is primarily Danish interspersed with flashes of English, the film engages with an English-speaking audience in a way that not many foreign-language films can accomplish. The strength of talent in the cast ensures that their emotions carry the characters through their verbal interactions.

Set in a small rural Danish town, the Hunt is a story demonstrating the fragility of reputation, the power of hearsay, and the tragic outcomes of unjust accusations that ignite through gossip. Specifically; of a kindergarten teacher engaging in sexual conduct with a 5 year old.

Mads Mikkelsen's performance as the innocent central character Lucas trying to preserve his honour and dignity whilst being vilified by his friends and neighbours is phenomenal. Having seen his performance in the Bond film; Casino Royale, my first instinct when he came on screen was that he would play an evil role however all these associations fell away throughout the course of this film. I felt for his character. Deeply. The rest of the ensemble give equally strong performances whilst the setting and filmography bring an eerie beauty to the film. The location is so serene, calm and largely untouched. The juxtaposition of beautiful natural settings with such disturbing subject matter just makes the film all the more poignant.

The Hunt is not at all for the faint of heart. It is confronting and it touches on some of the more sensitive issues in modern society; which are handled respectfully by the filmmakers. The roles of who is in the right and who is in the wrong blur as you empathise with all the character's protective motivations whether for themselves, their children or the town. Truth and lie are blurred and whilst people move on in life, memories will remain. All in all you will leave the cinema feeling not uplifted but with a deeper understanding of human nature.

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*Katherine Thomas was invited as a guest
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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
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