The Hunt (Jagten) (2012)

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Released 4-Sep-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Interviews-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Madman Propaganda x 4
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 110:46
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Thomas Vinterberg
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Mads Mikkelsen
Thomas Bo Larsen
Annika Wedderkopp
Alexandra Rapaport
Lasse Fogelstrom
Lars Ranthe
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Nikolaj Egelund


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Danish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

†††† Kindergarten teacher Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is popular with the children he supervises and has close friends in the small Danish community where he lives. He has been having a difficult time with his ex-wife over custody of his teenage son Marcus (Lasse Fogelstrom) but things are looking up; he has a new girlfriend Nadja (Alexandra Rapaport) and Marcus is coming to live with him at Christmas. But his world starts to come apart when Klara (Annika Wedderkopp), a young girl at the kindergarten and the daughter of Lucasí best friend Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen), tells the principal of the kindergarten that Lucas had exposed his p**** to her.

†††† The accusation is untrue; Klara is an imaginative child, given to running away from home to get attention, and she is hurt when Lucas refuses a gift she wanted to give him. She has seen a picture of a p**** in her older brotherís magazine and tentatively voices her accusation. But the accusation must, and is, taken seriously by the kindergarten, the parents and the police, the belief being that children do not lie, and words are put into Klaraís mouth by other adults. Indeed the accusation takes a life of its own and hysteria spreads, with Lucas condemned as guilty by his friends and other children at the kindergarten reporting symptoms of abuse; so when Klara tells her mother that nothing happened, she is not now believed. There are some rays of hope for Lucas; Marcus comes to live with him while Marcusí godfather Bruun (Lars Ranthe) staunchly defends Lucas. Lucas is arrested, but at the first hearing before a judge he is set free. But there is disbelief and anger in the community; Lucas is refused service by the supermarket owner, bricks are thrown through his window and his pet dog killed and left outside his door. On Christmas Eve matters come to a climax.

†††† Sexual abuse of children is a heinous crime that has been much in the headlines lately yet The Hunt (original title Jagten) shows what can happen when a tentative lie told by a hurt little girl ruins the life of an innocent man. Here co-writer / director Thomas Vinterberg walks a fine line; Klara is as helpless as anyone to stop what she has inadvertently started, and the reaction of Lucasí friends is not unnatural once they believe the child. Vinterberg is helped by his co-writer Tobias Lindholm, the writer/director of A Hijacking (2012) and writer of political drama Borgen (2010) to produce an intelligent and thoughtful script. He is also aided by exceptional performances from Mads Mikkelsen and child actress Annika Wedderkopp, who is sensational.

†††† There is no doubt that Mikkelsen is a consummate actor in a wide variety of roles both in and out of Scandinavia, such as the memorable villain in Casino Royale (2006). Here his Lucas is hurt and confused, almost numb with what is happening to him especially when he cannot be told either who has accused him or what he is accused of. Yet he cannot condemn Klara even when he finds out, and Lucasís resolve is tested as well as his sanity. This is a great performance, for which Mikkelsen won the Best Actor award at Cannes in 2012. He is matched by Annika Wedderkoppís Klara. Klara is a wide eyed little girl, vulnerable and sad, and Wedderkopp gives her a stillness in the scenes where she is being interrogated (and led) by adults, her facial expressions natural for she really does not understand the implications of what she is being encouraged to say.

†††† The Hunt was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars but lost out to The Great Beauty, an excellent but very different film which I reviewed on this site recently. The Hunt is also an excellent, well scripted and well-acted, intelligent film on a difficult topic. It provides no easy answers but is well worth a look.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† The Hunt is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

†††† The print is very good. It is sharp and detailed. The grey, yellow and blue colours of a winter in Denmark are pleasing and natural. Blacks and shadow detail are fine, brightness and contrast consistent and skin tones, except for a slight digital yellowish tinge, fine.

†††† Other than slight ghosting against mottled background such as fallen leaves, artefacts and marks are absent.

††††English subtitles are available in a yellow font. They are clear and easy to read and I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors. They also thankfully did not remain on during the sections of English dialogue.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

†††† Audio is a Danish Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps.

†††† This is a low key audio track, suiting a drama that is mainly dialogue, which was clear and centred. The surrounds and rears were used only for music and some ambience such as wind and rain. The sub-woofer was seldom heard except for music.

†††† The music score by Nikolaj Egelund was used sparsely, but was effective.

†††† Lip synchronisation fine.

†††† The layer chance was at 69:22 created a slight pause during a scene change.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Interviews (13:44)

†††† Two separate interviews conducted at Cannes with Mads Mikkelsen and Thomas Vinterberg, although neither are identified by caption. Topics include the themes of the film, reaction, casting, the young actress, society and children. Fairly superficial.

Theatrical Trailer (1:55)

Madman Propaganda

†††† Trailers for A Royal Affair (1:55), The Shooter (2:10), Love is All You Need (2:06) and Arbitrage (2:25).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

†††† The Region 1 US version of The Hunt comes with deleted / extended scenes, an alternative ending, a very short featurette and outtakes, as well as the trailer. These extras are not extensive, and it misses out on our interviews, but I think it has the edge.

Summary

†††† The Hunt shows the hysteria that grips a small community when a kindergarten teacher is wrongly accused by a child of exposing himself to her, a lie told by a hurt little girl that ruins the life of an innocent man. Mads Mikkelsen and child actress Annika Wedderkopp are superb, making this drama on a difficult topic compelling and watchable.

†††† The DVD has good video and audio. The extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, August 15, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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