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The Hunt Review

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp

Running Time: 115 mins

Synopsis: Recently divorced Kindergarten teacher Lucas (Mikkelsen) is adored by both the children and his friends. But when he is accused of child abuse, his friends turn on him, and Lucas’ whole life begins to dramatically unravel.

When you walk out of a screening completely speechless, it can mean one of two things: either that the film you’ve just seen is so mind numbingly awful that it’s incapacitated the speech part of your brain, or that the film you’ve just seen was so brilliant that it’s incapacitated the speech part of your brain. For this critic, walking out of a screening for Thomas Vinterberg’s Danish Drama THE HUNT, I was left speechless… entirely for the latter reason.

Easily one of the year’s best films, THE HUNT is a harrowing masterpiece, an emotional rollercoaster that once moving, never stops, not even for a moment.  Beginning with plenty of humour and lighthearted moments, Vinterberg sensibly chooses to let us get to know Lucas, his friends and his family, as he focuses on the blossoming friendship between Lucas and Klara (Wedderkopp), the young daughter of his best friend. However, it doesn’t last, and when Lucas is accused of child abuse, the cracks begin to show almost immediately.

From then on, it’s a real downer (though an oddly watchable one at that). There are moments that make you want to either hug or punch the characters on screen in fury, a testament to just how engrossing and immersive the story and the characterization is. This is no doubt down to the fine cast, particularly Mikkelsen, who is just fantastic from the get go.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to discuss why the film’s so good without discussing (and thereby spoiling) the ending. Suffice to say, just like in real life, there are no easy answers. The fact that Vinterberg chooses to go in the direction he does with the dénouement is bold, powerful and true, and easily sets this film apart from others that deal with similar subject matter.

THE HUNT is a tremendous and brave piece of filmmaking. Mads Mikkelsen’s lead performance is heartbreaking and endearing, whilst the direction somehow keeps the feeling of fear and dread prominent throughout proceedings, even in the film’s more happier moments. It’s harrowing and brutal, thought provoking and tear inducing. Overall, a definite must see, and an easy contender for best film of the festival, if not the year!

 THE HUNT is released in cinemas 30th November.



From an early age, Matt Dennis dreamt of one day becoming a Power Ranger. Having achieved that dream back in the noughties, he’s now turned his hand to journalism and broadcasting. Matt can often be found in front of a TV screen, watching his current favourite shows such as DOCTOR WHO, GAME OF THRONES, SHERLOCK, DAREDEVIL, and THE WALKING DEAD, though he’s partial to a bit of vintage TV from yesteryear. Matt also co-presents the Geek Cubed podcast, which you can download from iTunes. It’s quite nice.

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