I went through all sorts of ups and downs watching The Hunt; nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film in 2014, the film of a man accused of molesting a child is pure character study. You watch a man be accused of something that you are pretty much shown he did not do, and then you watch as he has his life destroyed by the accusations (Fun!).
It is difficult to talk about this movie and not talk about the ending. Most of my reviews don’t involve much of the plot by way of spoilers (I hate that word now, thanks to Dr. Who, but I can’t think of a good replacement. Suggestions are welcome), and this will be no different, however if this review seems a bit more shitty than usual it is because of my aversion to discussing the ending – or even anything that may hint towards it – and not the usual reason of my own personal and usual suckiness.
I will say only that for me, no matter how bad a movie is, if the ending is good I will generally like it. Don’t try to understand it, just go with it.
So the ending of this movie was good, but there were two points before the ending, both just a few minutes before the real ending, that had the movie ended there it would have been so very much better, and probably would have been bumped up to “Loved It”. As it is, the actual ending is good, but the actual ending is much like the whole movie, leaves me feeling . . . well, disoriented I guess.
The main problem I had with the movie was the accusation, and how it was initially received. A lady says flat out that she believes children can’t lie. Can’t, or don’t, I can’t recall exactly, and there is a difference I agree, but the basis is still there that this lady will believe whatever this child says.
Then, later on when the child can not repeat what is first told the lady, and in fact says it doesn’t remember anything about the event or speaking about it, the adults believe this is due to the fact that the mind won’t let it remember anything so horrible.
Maybe I am completely ignorant and am showing it by saying this, but I found it hard to believe that this one kid’s word – which, again, is shaky at best, and the details come from agreeing with the adults’ questions about things – could be accepted as truth by so many so quickly.
Now I’m not saying that were my daughter to suddenly say that my best friend (I don’t have any friends by choice but for the sake of argument let’s assume that I like people and I have a friend) had shown her his penis I would have to think it through. I don’t believe I would follow the path that is taken in this movie. Again, I have no freaking idea what I would do, and such things are horrible to deal with, whether true or not, and I wouldn’t wish any of it on my worst enemy (which, I feel like I have a lot of enemies, but no friends, maybe I should examine some things in my life . . . Nope, all good.), but with that being said, still, I did not find how things started for this guy believable.
Now, at some point, and I know it was around the time that his son arrives, I started to really buy into the craziness of this movie. More kids come forward, and the parents that were his friends just a short while ago, are now monsters treating him . . . well, horribly. It’s at this point that I started to feel his frustration and disbelief that it was all truly happening.
It gets violent a few times and it gets to the point where I was almost screaming at the TV for the guy to fight back or just leave. Seriously, why stay around? I told my wife about the movie – she didn’t wanna watch it, and she said that maybe he actually did it. This blew my freaking mind. It never occurred to me that maybe he did.
There is one scene towards the end, with what looks like the whole town – at least everyone involved in the story – hanging out and celebrating something and it is done in such an amazingly creepy way that it gave me chills. That scene alone is worth watching this whole movie, trust me, and is also one of the places where I think had it ended it would have been awesome.
The movie sets up this impossible scenario in which no one will be leaving unscarred, and it is difficult to end a movie like that, do you betray it all with a forced resolution, or stick to what you’ve started and end it . . . well, the way they ended it? There’s really no other way to go if they wanted the movie to be good and true, they ended it just as it should have ended (except for where I would have ended it).