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