In this modern era where paranoia is a common thing with pedophilia, brought on probably and not helped by the Jimmy Savile and Gary Glitter scandals, we were bound to get a movie that shows us this. In this film it's a situation where a child can tell an innocent lie, that can lead to dire consequences for the man the lie is against. It doesn't help with the paranoia we have around us today, as mentioned before. The modern resurgent that European film making is having in this era of cinema allows a film to come out of nowhere (well from Denmark) showing this subject.
Film festivals went wild over this film with the performances of the cast especially. It's not an easy subject to make a film of, I for instance didn't particularly want to watch this, because of the subject matter. It's a very powerful film that shows like I said before what an innocent lie can do to a very innocent man, and how in this day and age we are quick to judge just because of what has happened in recent years in the media.
Director Thomas Vinterberg has woven one hell of a tapestry of a drama film. Mads Mikkelsen portrayals a man whom is just about to get his life back together after a divorce from his wife. All seems well, a new job, new girlfriend, good friends and his son coming to live with him. But all this changes when one day a 5 year old girl who is at the nursery he works at, tells the headmistress that he did something to her. The 5 year old girl actress is phenomenal in this film, she is so believable in her acting it takes your breath away. This film shows tho, the one problem that adults have with children, they can put words into their mouths very easily. The girl is questioned and basically, they make her say he did things. Its very cleverly done tho because at first we feel sorry for Mads' character, that we deny it like him, but, when we see the girl starting to believe and question things herself, we start changing our minds too as an audience we get sucked into this and start thinking to ourselves is he really as innocent as we thought. It is a wonderful masterstroke of the director because as human beings and with the paranoia I mentioned before we can't help but feel that way. Its one of them thought provoking movies that is asking us as the viewer, "now what would you do?". There is a few niggles that got me tho. Why didn't he get a lawyer?. Yes bizarrely he does not hire a lawyer, strange I know and some of the peoples reactions are way too over the top, maybe I would be the same, I wouldn't know, but taking it out on his son is a but much. If his father is guilty then why should the son be bundled in with him?, I could not grasp that reaction from some of the characters at all.
This film is not easy to watch you will probably feel hurt, angry and annoyed. This could happen to anyone, children can say anything at the end of the day and as adults in society we have to stand by our children even if it means turning against our friends. Don't watch this film expecting a happy, glossed over with the usual Hollywood flair. Films like these are better I feel coming from independent companies and art house cinema, they seem to be able to show more ambiance in their movies. As much as I love Hollywood movies, I do like to check out now and then what other countries are doing too. Thank god I do or I would miss out on thought provoking movies like this. This was one of the best movies of 2012. Mads Mikkelsen is one of the greatest actors of our generation, fully deserving all the accolades and nods he received for this role.