Review: Jagten/The Hunt (2012)

the hunt poster

“The world is full of nastiness, but if we stand by each other it would be ousted.”
– Theo

Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) works at a kindergarten and loves his job. He is incredibly good with children and well-respected within the tight knit little community. After a messy divorce from his wife Kirsten, he barely sees his son Marcus (Lasse Fogelstrøm). His son is unhappy with the arrangement and wishes to live with his father, which Lucas would also love. Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport), a pretty co-worker of his, seems to be very interested in spending extra time with him, and he soon decides that he may just test out the theory.

the hunt klara and agnes

When the truth becomes obscured

Lucas’s best friend Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen) has a daughter named Klara (Annika Wedderkopp), who seems to take quite the interest in Lucas when he shows kindness toward her by walking her home when she gets lost as well as whenever her parents are fighting and arguing. At the school, she leaves a heart in his pocket and attempts to kiss him, and he rebuffs her, explaining that kissing on the mouth is reserved only for her mother and father and that she should give the heart to a boy her age. Klara is upset, and does not realise what will happen when she tells her tale in bitterness. Sulking, Grethe (Susse Wold), the daymother, asks her what is wrong, and she tells the woman that she hates Lucas and that he is mean and ugly. It soon comes out that Klara insinuates that a sexual indiscretion occurred, though she is fusing an unrelated incident of something she had seen on her brother’s tablet.

the hunt marcus and lucas

Shocked, Grethe calls in a trusted friend, an Advokat (Ole Dupont), who asks Klara many leading questions and determines that she must be telling the truth. Lucas is horrified to discover that such accusations have been made against him, and feels that his life is crumbling. He is even more upset when his son, Marcus, hears about the despicable lies from his bitter mother and when Theo refuses to believe Lucas because his daughter, Klara, does not tell lies. Lucas feels his whole life slipping away, and soon the story spreads throughout the community, and many other kids from the kindergarten are stepping forward with claims that they were also sexually abused. Klara attempts to tell her mother Agnes (Anne Louise Hassing) the truth, that she told a foolish story, but her mother does not believe that for a second, sure her daughter is trying to cover things up due to embarrassment.

the hunt lucas and theo

“Look me in the eyes. What do you see? Do you see anything? Nothing. There’s nothing.” – Lucas

The whole community turns on Lucas overnight, and all his jolly friends are lost. Bruun (Lars Ranthe), Marcus’s godfather, stands loyally by Lucas’s side, refusing to believe that the man is a sexual predator, despite what other may think. Soon, though, Lucas’s newfound reputation even affects his son’s life, and Lucas becomes very despondent and bitter when it appears he will not just be able to cast aside the rumours: they have now become his life and reality. The community responds violently to Lucas now, it is no longer just talking and dirty looks. Will Lucas be able to convince people that he did not do the sick things that he was accused of? Will he be able to clear his name and beat this in court? Will he ever have any friends again? Will Theo listen to truth and reason? Will he ever come around? How will Lucas continue to stay in an area where the resentment and hate towards him is palpable?

A definite 8.5/10 for The Hunt. This really was an exceptional drama, and I enjoyed it, though it left me feeling very flat at the end of it, it was well worth looking into. Mads Mikkelsen delivers another stellar performance, and never ceases to astound me as an actor. He also just has a phenomenal voice that I could listen to for hours. His depiction of Lucas was genuine, and his slide into hopelessness was so realistic. The effects that such a serious accusation could bring about were so fantastically portrayed here. I loved the camera work and the settings that were used for the film. I loved listening to the native language, irrespective of not being able to understand it. Subtitle intensive movies do not put me off, though I feel sorry for the people that discard such movies so quickly – you are throwing gems away! The script was tight, well-written and incredibly well presented. There was not a moment where I sat wondering if they were ever just going to get on with something. I thought the content and message was great – it is amazing how one lie can become a reality, and the havoc it can wreak on a person. This movie is really worth checking out, both for the incredible story that will haunt you even after it has concluded as well as the tremendous performances.

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60 thoughts on “Review: Jagten/The Hunt (2012)

  1. movierob says:

    Great review for a very disturbingly good movie. I don’t outright avoid subtitled movies, but i’m not a fan of them.

    I really enjoyed this one tho, but because of the subject matter being so disturbing, it won’t be a movie I will run to go see again so soon.

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Rob!

      Ah, a lot of people don’t like to spend their time reading I have come to notice. I wonder if they spend more time with the subtitles than the visuals?

      It was a little bit heavy but I must say I was incredibly impressed with it!

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  2. Beer Movie says:

    Great review Zoe. I still have not seen this, but plenty of people have raved about it.

    I never even think about whether a film is subtitled or not. Just is not something I consider when deciding to go and see a film. Now if a film is dubbed for some absurd reason (a fashion that seems pretty well restricted to anime these days) then I avoid it like the plague.

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Tim! It is totally worth checking out! It is a heavy subject, but so completely worth it!

      Oh I can TOTALLY agree with that. Give me subtitles, they never phase me, but DUB something?! There is no ways that I will sit through it, it is so annoying! I am glad I am not alone with that, and that there are more people out there who are not bothered by subtitles!

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  3. Tom says:

    Terrific review Zoe. Mads really impressed me with his work in Casino Royale, but I think I’ll choose another film to get me more familiar with his repertoire. This movie just sounds tough to get through, and these kinds of witch hunt movies really put me in a bad mood. 😦

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Tom! He is a damn fine actor! It is heavy material to work through but it really is worth the watch! I get what you are saying, had a bitter feeling in the pit of my stomach when this was over 😦

      Like

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Chris! I was also just so unhappy when it was done, it was so unfair! It really carried the message as it was supposed to and was a strong and moving film. I really thought he would have, he gave such a phenomenal performance in this!

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    • Joseph@thecinemamonster says:

      It’s almost hard not to respectfully be amazed by The Hunt. I know your taste in films and there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll be blown away by this flick, just like everyone else. It really is something, it should be mandatory viewing for any film lover.

      Great job Zoe! Only an 8.5?! Should have been higher ;). I too could listen to Mikkelsen for all enternity. There’s just something about him that’s so entrancing.

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  4. CMrok93 says:

    Good review Zoe. Takes on a whole new meaning when you think about the fact of how this could literally happen to anyone, at any place or point in time. I sound paranoid, I know, but think about it: If somebody were to start distasteful rumors about somebody you knew, that you didn’t know whether were true or not, how would you respond? I’d probably be like these towns-people, however, maybe not as cruel. Not all that sure though.

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    • Zoë says:

      It does beg the question right? And people in groups and things like that tend to mimic each other and feed off one another and things can just get out of hand…

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  5. ruth says:

    Great review Zoe! I saw this almost a year ago but it still haunts me how disturbing it is. It’s bone-chilling how the whole community turns on Lucas overnight, without giving him the benefit of the doubt at all. It’s too bad Mads’ performance is overlooked at the Oscar, he was absolutely magnificent in this.

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  6. sati says:

    Glad you rated this so highly, up until the very end of the year when I got to see all the Oscar movies Mikkelsen’s performance was my win. This film filled me with such hatred. After the dog scene I just kept hoping Lucas would shoot everyone.

    Like

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