Dragonknight’s review published on Letterboxd:
”Look me in the eyes. What do you see? Do you see anything?”
We are often told that children are innocent, we think they are sweet, we think they always tell the truth, we think they don’t know how to tell a lie and gain an advantage, we think they are the best things about life, for us they are sweet simple creatures who don’t know anything about the dirty world of adults. Some movies challenge those presumptions, Michael Haneke’s 2009 film, The White Ribbon and Thomas Vinterberg’s recent devastating film are two movies which make us reevaluate the above mentioned assumptions. The Hunt (also knows as Jagten) is a shocking piece of cinema which is more like a 115 minute nightmare, a masterful study of modern social ethics and a film which will remain with the viewer for some time, a cinematic triumph for Vinterberg and his talented actor, Mads Mikkelsen.
Thomas Vinterberg puts a mirror in front of us and shows us how devilish and brutal we can be, he shows us how we take a small statement and then add some parts from our own imagination to it and then make a detailed story, The Hunt is an arresting story about the way society can easily ruin a person’s life forever and the distressing thing is that you don’t need to be an international criminal to turn somebody’s life into hell, ordinary people who look normal and act normal can do that, The Hunt is the scariest film of the year, obviously we’re going to be more cautious about our behaviors and we’re going to change the way we look at children after this. The Hunt portrays a hell, a society where people are just waiting for the smallest of doubts to attack a person and destroy his life, is this the civilized society that we are so proud of?
The Hunt relies on the strong performance of Mads Mikkelsen (who won the Palm d’Or for his performance at 2012 Cannes Film Festival), he gives us a character who is hard to forget, just looking at him in the church sequence and seeing the desperation (which later transforms into anger) that is visible in his eyes is enough to break anyone’s heart and his reaction in the final sequence is just fantastic.
The Hunt is upsetting and shattering, it is a criticize of the modern society and more than anything it warns us about the devil inside and our habit of making ridiculous accusations just in order of comforting ourselves, when we blame others it is much easier to feel that we are the real “innocent” people and the most shocking thing about Thomas Vinterberg’s magical work is that it changes our opinions about the purity of children.