Written by Yara
Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is a respected and beloved teacher in a small Danish town. However, when the young daughter of his best friend accuses him of sexually assaulting her, Lucas’ whole life will fall head first in a whirlpool of suspicion, violence and exile.
The first remarkable aspect of this film is how it relies solely in the natural lightning of beautiful Danish landscapes. The film’s cinematography sets the mood in every scene, very warm in the beginning transitioning to colder, more opaque tones towards the end; the colours fit the plot perfectly and the intimate frames create the necessary dramatic tone without any exaggeration. Although the theme of the film is very disturbing, director Thomas Vintenberg is able to tell a deep story without the common spectacularization of such subject.
Another thing that contributes to the consistent pace and atmosphere is the fantastic editing of this film, there is no space for extra content of fillers, every scene fits, every scene has a purpose within the narrative; the cuts allow just the right amount of information, no more, no less. The shots are very introspective and rely a lot on the actor’s performances (as well as the editing), there is a lot being communicated through the eyes and the small nuances; Mads Mikkelsen delivers an outstanding acting justifying his Best Actor award in Cannes, he fills the screen with a powerful and truthful presence.
The audience knows right from the beginning that the accusation is false, therefore it is quite easy to dismiss and judge the acts of collective hysteria that are stablished in the small community; on the other hand, the film makes the audience question several times whether they would act in the same manner or not, given the seriousness of such allegation. This is film is an unpretentious and successful attempt to tell a single story through the eyes of several people, and also it aims to show how hard it is to build a reputation and how fast one’s life can be destroyed. And even though things might seem better in the future, something like this will never go away.