Movies you might have missed
Title: Jagten (English: The Hunt) (2012)
Directed: Thomas Vinterberg
Available on: Amazon Prime
Brief Synopsis: In a small Danish town, a kindergarten teacher's life unravels when he is falsely accused of sexual abuse towards one of his students.
Aggregate Scores: 8.3 IMDb 94% Rotten Tomatoes
Is there any worse feeling than being falsely accused? If you have a sibling, you undoubtedly have a vivid memory of an event when they put the blame off on you. If you were more cunning, perhaps the roles were reversed. In all likelihood, it was over something trivial.
For example, my sister continually accused me of eating all the ice cream in the house. In all honesty, while this was usually the truth, on occasion I was actually innocent and yet still had to shoulder the blame. While this rarely came with any punishment, the thing that bothered me most was to know I had been wrongly accused. While the stakes could not have been lower, I still argued furiously to clear my name. We all have had these experiences and that is why Jagten is such a powerful story, as it takes this idea to the extreme.
Reading the above synopsis is all you really need to know about the plot of this film. There are no shocking twists, no real side stories of note. It gives away nothing to say "falsely accused," because his innocence is never in doubt, as that is not the purpose of this film. Lucas (played by TVs Hannibal, Mads Mikkelsen) is an everyman. He is a well-liked teacher in his community, has a great group of friends, and is a good father to his teenage son. Yet he has his flaws: He is divorced, drinks a bit too much, and starts a workplace relationship (never a good idea!). All of these traits help to flesh out a real character who is every bit as likeable as he is relatable, which makes it all the more painful when he is accused of the worst imaginable crime – child sexual abuse. While the plot is straightforward, it in no way makes the message less effective.
While this movie was incredibly chilling and effective in 2012 when it was released, it seems even more poignant in today's society. Many will view this film's message as an allegory for the #MeToo movement, and how we should be careful with allegations. Others will see it as a cautionary tale of how vigilante justice can lead some to sink to the level of the criminals they are fighting.
The multiple themes speak to the script’s strength at captivating its viewers throughout. While it seems inevitable that Hollywood will eventually create an English remake of this excellent film, do yourself a favour and push through the subtitles to witness beautifully subdued performances and breathtaking Scandinavian landscapes. It may be tempting to wait for a remake, but the universal themes will easily help overcome any language barrier.