The Hunt – Jagten

the hunt 1

The Hunt (2012)  – Jagten (original title)

115 min – Drama – 10 January 2013 (Denmark)

Ratings: 8.3/10 from 47,818 users

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Writers: Tobias Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg

Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika

Last year we ate at a teppanyaki table in Yorkville Toronto (Yamato Restaurant) next to Mads Mikkelsen and his son Carl. Little did we know that a year later we would be in awe of this fabulous actor. We were trying to figure out in which movies he played, and where to place him, we did not say hello, did not ask for an autograph. They were speaking Danish, and it could have been Swedish just as well, I am not sure I can tell the difference, although Copenhagen and the Danish will forever remain in my heart as dear old friends.

The Hunt depicts the life of a Danish teacher living somewhere in a little town in Denmark. His well-known family owned land there for generations. You pity him because he is obviously decent and life has not been rosy for him. Somehow things start to get on a good path, his son choses to come live with him, a beautiful woman wants to be with him… All of sudden his best friend’s little girl has some sort of a crush on him and because he sets her straight she tells the principal some words she had heard from her big brother and his friends. A psychiatrist puts even more words in her mouth and the story develops big and ugly, the teacher becoming an outcast. There is of course no proof to convict him although now all the children from the kindergarten claim to have been touched inappropriately by him. Almost all the people he had shared his life with condemn him ferociously and treat him as you treat an animal with rabies.

The movie is great, it definitely deserves to be seen; it teaches so much about prejudice, the society we live in, how our core is always inclined towards the bad, the rotten, we give it priority and tend to forget the good. It is so much easier to blame and be appalled than trust and help. I was surprised to be so upset about the way things turned out because it was actually my situation reversed: in my case there is a pedophile out there, unpunished, harming God knows how many other little girls, just because his wife decided to get his apartment rather than bring him to justice and the statute of limitations has long expired in my case.

Born Mads Dittman Mikkelsen November 22, 1965 in Østerbro, Copenhagen, Denmark, Mads Mikkelsen started out as a low-life pusher/junkie in the 1996 success Pusher (1996) then slowly grew to become one of Denmark’s biggest movie actors. The success in his home country includes Flickering Lights (2000), Shake It (2001) and the Emmy-winning police series Unit 1 (2000). Abroad he has played in I Am Dina (2002) (alongside Gérard Depardieu), then in the Spanish comedy Torremolinos 73 (2003) and the American blockbuster King Arthur (2004).

He plays Le Chiffre, the villain of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale (2006). Fleming’s final Bond novel was The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), the villain and title character of which was played by Fleming’s cousin, Christopher Lee. Lee and Mikkelsen have also both played Count Rochefort in The Three Musketeers (1973)/The Three Musketeers (2011).

Once again, hats off to Mads Mikkelsen, I will try to see all his movies.