Anyone who enjoys watching movies will tell you that the memorability and engagement of a film is what defines the cream of the crop. The Hunt is no exception to that, with its ensnaring performances and arresting story cementing its reputation as one of the best foreign films in the 2010s.
If you’re searching for a movie driven by a genuine and multi-layered performance, then look no further. Mads Mikkelsen, who I think is one of the most underrated actors walking the planet, commands the drama and power of the film, portraying an innocent and likeable teacher thrown into a crisis that challenges him in every way possible. The ostracism and eventual violence that he experiences showcases Mikkelsen’s virtuosic versatility in emotional conviction, ranging from fury to misery, but above all, sheer vulnerability. The other characters in the film support the authenticity conveyed by Mikkelsen, and remind us how great actors do exist throughout the globe.
Although there’s no denying that the biggest strength of The Hunt is the acting, I should also mention just how gripping the story is as well. The film is the perfect example of how a familiar concept (i.e., an innocent man trying to prove his guiltlessness) can be ornamented and take the audience completely by surprise. The script is 100 percent devoid of pretentiousness, and exhibits a convergence between authenticity, subtlety and engagement that is rare in stories across all artistic media. The modesty of the film is also evidenced by the cinematography, which doesn’t rely on fancy filters or camera angles, but is grounded on the interactions between the tormented individuals. I also adore how the stability of the camera lessens as the tension escalates.
However, there’s a good reason why this movie carries a strong MA15+ rating. Its disturbing and confronting nature is derived from its emotional brutality which only adults are capable of handling. It is extremely rare for such raw emotion to touch me like The Hunt did, as it is wrought with harsh realities surrounding our lives, friendships and reputations. The psychological damage inflicted by the former friends of the protagonist inevitably speaks to your sense of justice, which is one of the features I will remember most about The Hunt.
Rating - ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ¾