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Review: Bird Hunting – Fuglejagten (2012)

Directed by: Christian Dyekjær | 90 minutes | family, drama, comedy | Actors: Oliver Metling Søndergaard, Lars Brygmann, Jesper Asholt, Nicolas Bro, Charlotte Fich, Jesper Langberg, Georg Hvidtfeldt Treschow, Nicoline Rubow Sharma, Anders Hove, Kresten Andersen, Christian Konradsen, Rasmus Lind Rubin, Maria Christine Jarltoft, Lasse Leo Ehn, Simon Selin Skjoldborg,

Victor and his father share a great passion: watching. Traditionally, Victor takes part in a contest organized for watchers every year, and traditionally the winner is Victor’s rival Daniel. But because Daniel has a broken leg this time (he fell from a bird watching tower), Victor thinks he has a chance. And that is necessary: ​​with the main prize, a trip for two people to the Bosporus, the twelve-year-old hopes to cheer up his father. Victor’s mother has “a crisis” and now lives with none other than Daniel’s father, just as much of a blow as his son. If it turns out that Daniel is still participating in the competition, Victor must do everything he can to win. And that decision appears to have far-reaching consequences, even at an international level …

The scenario of the Danish “ Hunt” (“Fuglejagten”) is reasonably to well put together. Not everything and everyone is predictable and that certainly makes the case for the film. For example, the relationship with Victor and his father is quite unconventional: the roles seem to be reversed at times. Victor has to pretend to be much more mature than he is, while Victor’s father sometimes acts like a small child. This creates uncomfortable situations and gives the a more serious meaning. On the other hand, the storyline, in which a girl keeps changing her preference for one of the two boys, doesn’t work very well. Her character only seems to be used to make the film attractive to girls, but the plot line only distracts. “Bird hunting” does not need that at all, because girls will also be able to identify with the insecure protagonist and his wish to see his father happy and to belong.

The director and screenwriter, Christian Dyekjær, was a fanatic mocker himself as a child and he applies that experience excellently. The insight into that world makes the atmosphere in “ Hunting” authentic. The characters are portrayed with love, but also with a little self-mockery. The is set in a beautiful nature reserve in Denmark and the camera makes good use of it. “Bird Hunting” is an amusing family film, in which a little lie unexpectedly grows to enormous proportions.

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