The Hunt (Jagten)

Mads Mikkelson is astounding and mesmerising in this powerful and frightfully realistic, serious meditation of human nature and small town hysteria. And this is also why "Hannibal" is one of the best TV show on right now that no one is watching. Thomas Vinterberg has created a disturbing portrayal of humanity and even the ending paints the Garden of Eden as a place where treachery lurks within. The story is deceptively simple but the power behind its message is brought so vividly to life by Mikkelson, and also the supporting cast of Thomas Bo Larsen and Annika Wedderkopp. Thankfully Vinterberg does not dwell too long on the schmaltzy side of the story and seldoms explicitly explain the scenes to his audience, and for that he has given us an intellectual study, and not the typical Hollywood schlop. He allows the scenes and the actors to convey the themes and not have it drummed in through heavy handed repetitions or spelt out in a heroic diatribe. Mikkelson's brilliance in this film laid in his expressive eyes, subtle facial changes and altering body language. His presence engages our senses, and the scenes without him were notably flatter (although there was a powerful scene by his son only). The only downside throughout was the character of Nadja who does not really serve much purpose other than to give us a glimpse of Mikkelson's arse. A pity, like "Hannibal", most people will miss this.

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