“The Hunt” (2012): the plot and the meaning of the film’s ending, the explanation of the final scene

The finale of the film “The Hunt”: who and why shot Lucas

Country: Denmark, Sweden

Genre: drama

Year of production: 2012

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Cast: Mads Michelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wederkopp, Lasse Vogelström

The film “The Hunt” (original title Jagten) is a sharp social drama that clearly demonstrates how public opinion can break the life of any person. Even if there is no objective reason for it. However, in order to understand this, it is necessary to analyze in detail the meaning of the film “The Hunt”. We will do this in the form of a small review, where we will consider in detail the content and the ending, which, according to the director’s idea, remained open.

The plot of the movie

Let’s start our analysis with the main thing – a description of the plot of the film “The Hunt”. The protagonist of this story is Lukas, a 42-year-old man who divorced his wife and now works as a kindergarten teacher in a small Danish community.

All men here have only one interest – hunting. Lucas is a full-fledged member of this society, hunting deer, drinking in a bar with friends. At the same time, the man has a very difficult relationship with his ex-wife. She practically does not allow him to see his son Marcus, despite the fact that the teenager wants to live with his father.

Lucas with a girlMads Mikkelsen as the protagonist of the film – Lucas. Frame from the film.

Lucas loves children, so the pupils always look forward to his coming to work. They even developed a peculiar tradition – to ambush the teacher. In general, a man very subtly feels children’s natures, so the kids are drawn to him.

One of the pupils – Clara, the daughter of a childhood friend Lucas, fell in love with the teacher. Of course, childhood love has nothing to do with real mature feelings. Lucas has a dog that the girl likes. He often visits her father’s house, sometimes he accompanies the baby to the garden and brings her home.

Clara decides to confess her feelings to Lucas. She packs a small heart in an envelope, and, having improved the moment, kisses the tutor and lowers the gift into his jacket pocket. A grown man understands the need to keep a distance from children, so he explains to Clara that only mom and dad can kiss. He offers to give the gift to one of his peers.

Lucas did the right thing, but did not take into account one thing – the girl harbored a grudge. One evening, she tells kindergarten director Greta that the teacher was showing her genitals. And she tells everything in great detail. The director, without explanation, sends Lucas on time off and decides to look into the situation.

For starters, a child psychologist talks to Clara, who, by asking questions, pulls confirmation of sexual harassment from the girl. The girl immediately said that she had thought of everything, but adults could no longer be stopped. They conclude that the child has experienced psychological trauma. The girl’s parents learn about the story, the news instantly spreads throughout the tiny village.

From that moment on, Lucas’ life turns into hell. The headmistress contacts his ex-wife, and she forbids her son to even communicate with his father. The teacher is fired from work, a meeting with parents is held in the kindergarten, at which a memo is considered on how to recognize a pedophile. At the same time, Lucas himself does not even know which of the children accused him of harassment. He goes to the garden, where Greta accidentally let slips that Clara did it.

The man goes to his friend to clarify the situation, but Theo’s wife makes it clear that Lucas has nothing more to do here. Clara sees this quarrel and directly declares to her mother that the teacher did nothing to her. However, the woman is sure that the girl is simply unpleasant to remember this. Even the girlfriend with whom the man is building a relationship expresses doubts about his innocence. As a result, Lucas boils up and simply kicks her out of the house.

Lucas' girlfriendAlexandra Rappoport played the role of Lucas’ girlfriend Nadia. Frame from the film.

Now he is left alone with his faithful dog. Lucas sits at home without getting out, but his son comes to him secretly from his mother. The true extent of the tragedy is revealed when Marcus goes grocery shopping at the supermarket. The manager tells the boy and his father not to come here again: they will not be sold anything.

Many parents notice signs of sexual abuse in their children. The kids claim that Lucas did it, detailing the basement in his home where the abuse took place. An investigation begins, and Lucas is arrested right in front of his son. The guy doesn’t have a key and he can’t get into the house. Initially, he goes to Theo, where there is a quarrel, and the teenager is kicked out of the house. Then he goes to his godfather – the only one in the village who believes in Lucas’s innocence.

The next day, court hearings take place. Given that Lucas’ house never had a basement, the children’s stories of harassment are not confirmed, the man is acquitted and released. However, his life does not change from the acquittal. That same evening, someone throws a rock through his kitchen window and Lucas’ dog is killed.

Having sent his son to his mother, the former teacher goes to the supermarket, where they refuse to sell him chops. After a verbal altercation, Lucas is beaten and thrown out of the store, calling him a pervert. However, he defends his right to make a purchase.

At a Christmas service in a church, Lucas yells at Theo, demanding that he look him in the eyes. At night, when everyone is asleep, Theo grabs some food from home, a bottle and goes to visit a former friend. He realizes that Lucas is innocent. His daughter confirms that she made it all up, and now people are angry with Lucas.

After this scene, the content of the film “The Hunt” takes the viewer immediately a year ahead. Relations between Lucas and his fellow villagers improved. His son becomes a full member of the society of hunters, and receives a gun as a gift from his father. The next day, someone shoots at Lucas while hunting. The bullet hits a tree. The man does not see the face of the attacker, and soon he disappears from view. End.

The meaning of the ending

For many viewers, the meaning of the ending of the film “The Hunt” remained incomprehensible. In general, this is not surprising, because, according to the director’s idea, the finale was left open to interpretation. He himself stated this in one of his interviews, so comments are unnecessary. It follows that each of the viewers can interpret the end of the film in their own way.

However, the most logical explanation for the ending is that Lucas was not completely forgiven. The clue to the shot in the final scene suggests the following interpretation: the man will not be able to become his own here, as before.

Despite the acquittal, for some of the locals, the man will forever remain a pedophile who should not be allowed near children. It is likely that the shot was fired by Theo himself or his eldest son, who, apparently, was engaged in molesting his sister.

He showed her pornographic pictures, which in general became the catalyst for this whole story. Perhaps the guy believed his sister’s stories and warned Lucas to leave the community.

In any sense, the ending boils down to the fact that Lucas will never become a full member of this society.

The meaning of the movie “The Hunt”

The hidden meaning of this film is that it is not Lucas or Clara who are to blame for what happened, but society. Having only indirect confirmation of the guilt of their recent comrade, people have already drawn their conclusions. They no longer needed the explanations of the girl herself, and even more so, the justification of the person accused of pedophilia.

Christmas serviceFrame from the film.

A certain opinion has already formed in society, other confirmations of Lucas’s guilt, literally far-fetched, began to appear. As a result, a person instantly becomes an outcast and is unable to change anything.

Therefore, in general, the meaning of the “Hunt” is that any person can instantly turn from a hunter into a victim, being under the gun of public opinion. Getting out of this vicious circle is almost impossible. Most people in this situation would simply have to leave.

Lucas showed perseverance and managed to defend his right to be in society. However, such people are rare. Any person who falls victim to the prejudice that children do not lie can be such a victim.

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