GROUP C

Info

Original Title: Jagten
Country: Denmark
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Release: 2012
Genre: Drama
Language: Danish

13.01.2020: This review was first published on 15.05.2018 and is being updated for a more complete review, together with the publishing of the YouTube Version.

Hello! Welcome to Ulven Reviews!

Jagten or The Hunt is a Danish movie by the director Thomas Vinterberg, released in 2012 and telling the story of a school teacher accused of abusing one of his students.

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World Cup Historic

Established in 1889, the Danish Football Association was the first football association outside the UK and Ireland, but professional players were not allowed until 1971. The transition into professionalism was only complete in 1978.

After the first professional team formed in 79, Denmark qualified for five FIFA World Cups, the first in Mexico 86, and their best run was in France 98 when they reached the quarter-finals.

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Denmark vs Iceland – Photo by Helgi Halldórsson

They qualify in the playoffs, with a 5-1 against the Republic of Ireland, including a hat-trick from Christian Eriksen. But in the actual World Cup, they were a little underwhelming for my taste.

The last match of the group stage, against France, was a disgraceful draw without goals, in which neither played actual football. I forgot to say that in the France review. In the round of 16, Denmark lost to Croatia on penalties.

Prelude

The Hunt is about a false allegation of Child Abuse. So I went looking for some info about the matter, and I will be brief and direct. More abused children lie about not being abused than not-abused children make false allegations.

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Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas

Another statistic I came upon is that one in ten children will be sexually abused before completing 18 years of age. For girls, the number is one in seven, while for boys it is one in 25.

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A random scene. It’s Just here because it’s beautiful.

Even with the statistics showing that is rarer a false allegation than a real case of sexual abuse, justice must be done by the legal system, and never by vigilante revenge.

Jagten

Lucas (played by Mads Mikkelsen) is a middle-aged man, a father fighting for the custody of his teenage son, Marcus (played by Lasse Fogelstrøm). He is also a caring preschool teacher, loved by the children he cares for.

One of the kids is the five-year-old Klara (played by Annika Wedderkopp), who’s also the daughter of Lucas’s best friend, Theo (played by Thomas Bo Larsen). Klara has a crush on Lucas, a kid’s thing.

One day, Klara kiss Lucas by surprise, and he reprehends her. Hurt by the rejection, Klara insinuates that Lucas sexually abused her, leading to his absolute demise, in every aspect of his life.

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Lucas and Fanny (Dog) walking Klara (Annika Wedderkopp) home

The movie challenges a stupid popular belief: where there’s smoke, there’s fire. To refute, I use a quote attributed to Sigmund Freud, although he probably never said it: Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar.

The idea that a rumor is always justified is nonsense. There is absolutely no base for such an irrational claim, and this movie is a fictional example of this.

If you want a real-life example, the last Clint Eastwood movie is about Richard Jewell’s case. He was a suspect of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, the media was all over him, but he was innocent.

We can relate to Lucas since the beginning of the film. Being a worker, struggling with divorce and a custody battle, someone who has friends, family and, a new girlfriend.

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Lucas playing with the kids

The movie takes its time to establish the characteristics, so we can get to know Lucas. It may seem trivial, but that’s how we know who he is, so when he’s accused, we feel for him.

I like Mads Mikkelsen since I saw him on 2004’s King Arthur, but I was an ignorant child/teen at that time. Since then, I saw many more movies with him and like him even more. I think The Hunt is the best work I saw from him, he does amazingly well.

Actually, everyone in the film does a good job. Thomas Bo Larsen as Theo, the best friend, and Lasse Fogelstrøm as Marcus, the son, were my favorites after Mads Mikkelsen.

Something that almost broke the movie for me was the interview to assure the girl was abused, it seems like they just made things up to benefit the plot.

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Marcus (Lasse Fogelstrøm), Lucas’ son

That interview was awful. The man asks leading questions, instead of letting the girl tell what happened, this can influence the child’s responses, making the interview, at least, not trustworthy.

Besides this flaw, I think the movie is enjoyable in almost every aspect. The cinematography is, once again, something that I loved, well lit, with a beautiful palette of vibrant colors, and perfect use of the sunlight.

With an absurd emotional impact and great acting, I think the flaws I pointed were not enough to bring the movie down, and for this reason, I’ll rate it with 8 Moons.

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