The Hunt (Jagten) 2013 Review

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**Official Selection – Best Movie of 2013** (Replacing “Mud” [#2 spot] and “The Place Beyond the Pines” [#3 spot])

Plot:

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son’s custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

This is my second ever Thomas Vinterberg film, the first one I watched being his psyche-ruining dark comedy “The Celebration”, and if I admire this great filmmaker for anything it is his brutal honesty. This is definitely the best film of 2013, and I highly doubt anything will surpass it.

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The film stars Mads Mikkelsen as the aforementioned teacher, and he gives the best performance of his entire career. I’ve admired him since I first saw him in a war epic entitled “Flame & Citron”, and the things that must go through his mind while playing these incredibly dark roles must be staggering. Very few people can play such a dense role and play it this well, and that is why I think he is certainly going to be one of the frontrunners for the Best Actor Oscar, if not the winner. Heading him up in a brilliant supporting role and a terrific performance is Thomas Bo Larsen, of whom I am starting to get more into. His performance in Vinterberg’s “The Celebration”, like Mikkelsen’s performance in this film, is one of the finest pieces of acting I have ever seen. Annika Wedderkopp who plays young Klara also gives such a terrific performance, the finest performance I have seen from someone who is that young.

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The film’s screenplay was a daringly original work from Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm. The dialogue flourished with humanity, the conversations in which the characters have are extremely life-like and highly believable. The tone of the film, for the most part, is unsurprisingly dark and dense, however it works very well to it’s advantage. This is really a movie about how badly people act in certain situations, and how it only takes a few people to jump to a dangerous conclusion until an entire group, or in this film’s case, an entire town is quick to judge without getting the facts. And that’s why this film was so maddening and intense, but it is a genuinely rewarding experience. Hands down, best written screenplay of 2013, and I highly doubt it’ll be surpassed.

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Thomas Vinterberg, in addition to co-writing the screenplay, directed this film. I will definitely be looking forward to more films from him, his careful crafting of each scene and each detail is beyond breathtaking, the suspense with each passing scene was almost unbearable, and the way he directs his actors is nothing short of genius. Not to mention the captivating screenplay, shot beautifully on digital, which I also worry how it will turn out when it’s on digital for something like this, but he uses the perfect picture quality to create a believable and genuinely human environment.

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In conclusion, Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt” is a dark and maddening human interest tale that is well-crafted to say the least. The unbearable intensity with each passing scene is enough to recommend this film, but the Oscar-worthy performances and screenplay make this film all the more realistic and well-worth watching.

My Rating: 10/10

Thanks for Reading!

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