Två av den internationella filmvärldens mest inflytelserika tidningar har sett pressvisningen av Thomas Vinterbergs Jagten/The Hunt, som visas i huvudtävlingen under Cannes Filmfestival i kväll. Därmed tävlar man om Palme d'Or, Guldpalmen. Mads Mikkelsen, som spelar huvudrollen i Jagten, nämns frekvent bland dem som tippas bli bästa manliga skådespelare. Filmen är samproducerad av Film i Väst.
Så här skriver Hollywoodreporter och Screen Daily i dagen nätupplagor:
Propelled by Mads Mikkelsen’s shattering performance as the blameless man whose life threatens to be destroyed, the film is superbly acted by a cast that never strikes a false note or softens the impact with consolatory sentiment. The same strengths distinguish Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm’s screenplay, which spins a psychological horror story rooted at every step in credible reality.
The film is fundamentally about the speed at which lies, gossip and innuendo can become cemented as fact in public opinion, and about the disturbing power of suggestion on young minds. But it’s also about the fragile nature of trust in communities and among friends, particularly men. It shows how easily masculine bonds stretching back years can be broken and how willingly a band of brothers can betray one of its own.
The elegantly framed widescreen compositions of cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen maintain a certain detachment in the establishing action, bearing witness to the awful events with distressing clarity. And Nikolaj Egelund’s delicate music is used with economy to punctuate the two-month ordeal, never to artificially stoke tension as a heavier hand might have done.
But while it’s crisply executed, The Hunt is very much an actor-driven film. As the child who triggers the maelstrom and then gets bundled out of its way, Annika Wedderkopp gives a performance of uncanny naturalness and vulnerability, while as the teenager caught in the crossfire, Lasse Fogelstrom is equally good.
Intense, wounded, wrung out and pushed to the brink of insanity, Mikkelsen’s Lucas is a devastating characterization, all the more so because his outbursts of rage are so infrequent. Continuing on from his impressive work in A Royal Affair, which premiered in Berlin, this is a tremendous year for the Danish actor, best known to international audiences as 007’s nemesis in Casino Royale.
An energised Thomas Vinterberg powers into a rural Danish community with devastating effects in The Hunt, a confident return to form - and some familiar themes - for the co-writer-director. Daring to force his narrative right up against the edge of credibility, Vinterberg uses the hot-button topic of child abuse to push and probe at a town’s close-knit facade until the wounds bubble up angrily to the surface.
It’s 14 years since Festen made his name here in Cannes and, as is well documented, Vinterberg has stumbled since that early success. But The Hunt doesn’t just witnesses a return to form, it also examines similar themes. While technically, it inhabits another planet to the breathless Dogme film (Charlotte Bruus Christensen’s frames are fixed and lustrous, and take The Hunt outside, while Festen was an interior chamber piece) the central issue of truth and lies splitting a community lingers - and how people choose what they will believe in.
Vinterberg clearly enjoys picking at the illusion of brotherhood amongst these childhood friends and primal deer-hunters who boast an easy, beery male camaraderie that is only surface-deep. As the early-morning steam rises to greet them, there’s a sense of creeping menace and a fear that The Hunt will claim a sacrifice. And having played fast and loose earlier on in the piece, Vinterberg keeps the faith to The Hunt’s last heart-stopping frame.
Film i Väst är en av Europas ledande regionala filmfonder. Vi ägs av Västra Götalandsregionen och sätter genom filmen Västsverige på världskartan. Vi är samproducenter, delägare och finansiärer av 30-40 svenska och internationella långfilmer, lika många kort- och dokumentärfilmer samt en knapp handfull TV-dramaserier per år.
Film i Väst i korta drag
Ägs av Västra Götalandsregionen
Omsättning: cirka 100 MSEK (2011)
Uppdragsgivare är Västra Götalandsregionens regionala utvecklingsnämnd och Västra Götalandsregionens kulturnämnd.