Do your kids have headaches or nightmares?
Question posed to all parents at a kindergarten school meeting in a small Danish community after one child alleges inappropriate behavior by a school worker in the Danish film The Hunt
Much as we are loath to admit it, a lot of kids wear the devil’s cloak and wreak havoc even at a tender age.
Whether their harm is intended or unintended is beside the point.
That’s why in my country we sometimes fling kids into prison and throw away the keys.
Of course, I’ve never been one so naive as to believe in the innocence of children. For I’ve spotted the gleam of evil in many a young eye, Brown, White and Black, on several occasions.
Last night I watched the Danish film The Hunt (2012) on DVD (with English subtitles).
The film confirmed my opinion on Satan working his fiendish tricks inside the minds of small kids.
Level 8 Earthquake
When a young child with a vivid imagination lies about inappropriate behavior by an adult, the life of Lucas (played with enormous elan by Mads Mikkelsen) who works in the kindergarten of a small Danish town is torn asunder.
A divorcé with a teenage son, a difficult ex-wife and a budding new relationship, Lucas is already walking on a rough road in life.
The child’s unthinking, ‘stupid’ act hits Lucas like a Level 8 earthquake in the small close-knit rural community.
To make matters worse, the finger-pointing child turns out to be offspring of his best friend Theo.
As it often happens in life, when it rains it pours.
Once the hunt starts, it doesn’t stop.
Soon Lucas is believed to have molested other kids too.
Fragility of Relations
The once-friendly community turns severely hostile to Lucas.
And in a moment of wild rage, Lucas severs one of his last lifelines, his budding relationship with the immigrant co-worker Maria.
In The Hunt, director Thomas Vinterberg has done a superb job of exploring a how man’s social standing is ever so fragile in a community
Hanging on the slender thread of a child’s accusation.
The Hunt is an extremely powerful movie and Mads Mikkelsen has delivered an outstanding performance of an innocent man whose life is wrecked by a false accusation.
As the movie’s ending demonstrates, once wrecked, relations are never the same again even if they appear to have returned to normal on the surface.
We first encountered Mads Mikkelsen four years ago in After the Wedding, a Danish movie with a connection to India.
But The Hunt is a better movie and Mikkelsen’s sensitive performance of an universally despised character will be talked about for a long time to come.
Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Cannes film Festival for his performance in The Hunt, which is also Denmark’s entry for the upcoming Oscars.
I’d be very disappointed if The Hunt fails to win the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards.
Obviously, The Hunt is not meant for the Indian mongrels who salivate over charlatans like Vijay, Ajith, Salman Khan etc and just cannot distinguish wheat from chaff.
SearchIndia.com is pleased to recommend The Hunt to discerning moviegoers. Netflix has the DVD if you’re interested.