Thomas Vinterberg‘s The Hunt “is a small-town drama about an innocent divorced man (Mads Mikkelsen) accused of child molestation, and how all his asshole ‘friends’ very quickly fall away from him,” I wrote on 5.20.12 from the Cannes Film Festival. “And then, after torrents of ugliness, how everyone does a gradual turnaround. And how turn-the-other-cheek Mikkelsen accepts this reversal.
“The deplorable behavior and rank stupidity seem somewhat credible on one level, but on another level appallingly false. ‘Why does this movie feel so oppressively full of shit?,’ I kept asking myself. Forget the Crucible-resembling element, and the old, old story about small-town panic leading to the near-ruination of a man’s life. The bottom line is that this isn’t a satisfying story. Stupidity reigns, evil walks, justice isn’t served and a bullet slams into a tree at the very end. Zinngg!
“Would best friends and longtime drinking and hunting buddies really turn on an old friend like that, even when law officials have found a significant flaw in his accusers’ stories?
“Would a five-year-old create a ferocious fantasy because she feels faintly slighted when a certain adult neighbor tells her that kisses on the lips are only for parents and grandparents?
“Are parents so rock stupid as to completely discount this five-year-old when she recants said fantasy more than once?
“Would small-towners really descend to the level of terrified blind steers in a situation like this?
“Maybe all this has happened (perhaps even countless times) but I didn’t buy it, not for a second. Not as Vinterberg showed it to me. The b.s. meter was going off constantly….’Beep-beep-beep-beep-beeeeeep-beepity-beep-beep-beeeeeep!”