I am going to do something in this piece which I will not do very often; discuss a movie. This is going to be something more than a review and less than a critique.
The film is “The Hunt”. I think the film itself is pretty good but the way people have reacted to it is also amusing. I have spent some time reading reviews of it, with much puffing about how people do not understand satire these days, and anyway it wasn’t all that great a movie, and so on.
It is a great Rorschach test. What people see in it tells about their personalities. Some people are still ranting about how it’s a movie about killing “Trump supporters” or that it supports redneck, deplorable whatevers. Some take the line that it is just a good “escape and survive” type thriller with some dark political satire thrown in, and everybody should just chomp the popcorn and enjoy.
Here is my Rorschach on it. It is not an anti redneck or an anti liberal film, it is an anti fanatic film. It is a satire of people who see everything as a political drama. The real protagonist of the film, the “Crystal” character, the survivor, is the one who has no political alignment, or does not wear it on her sleeve.
This is a big theme of mine. Keep tuning into my blog project as I develop it and you will understand what I am getting at. Yes, the society south of the border is becoming polarized into two camps. A lot of this is spilling over the border into ultra moderate Canada.
In the warped perception of the American ‘conservative,’ ‘liberal’ equals ‘left’. In the equally warped view of American ‘liberals’, anything not them is ‘right wing’ or ‘populist’. Neither have any conception of what ‘left’ is about. There is almost no real left in the US of A. Sanders would be fairly ‘middle of the road’ in Canada and most other countries.
The ‘left’ versus ‘right’ frame does not really fit reality anyway. There is a conservative political personality, a liberal political personality, and a socialist political personality. A conservative wants security and stability. A liberal wants to understand things. A socialist, a real socialist, wants optimized possibilities.
But it is more complicated than this. This is the spectrum of normal people. When people have psychological problems, they become ideological. The ideological conservative personality sees all change as threatening. The ideological liberal wants to create a perfect world with perfect people, perfect language and thought, and is therefore the most dangerous ideology. The ideological socialist or leftist is unable to accept any limits.
People with ideo-psychological problems will usually react negatively to the film. It is the liberal elitists hunting down ‘normals’. It is the rednecks/deplorables getting what they deserve or alternatively, attacking liberal/progressive people, or even engaging in feign victimhood. The ideological left has not weighed in on this matter, mostly because they cannot fit it into their frame of rednecks and elites being part of the same thing.
As for non ideological people, they generally have little use for any part of the ideological spectrum, but when they start commenting on this film most of them seem to root for Crystal. She might be understood as the lone sane person in this mess created by warring fanatic factions, trying to survive. As I said, just as entertainment, with extra blood and gore, it is worth a few bucks.
I position myself in the schemata I describe above as a non ideological socialist. I like equally to see arrogant elitists and obnoxious rednecks get splattered. A lot of both goes on in the film and at this point; spoiler alert. If you are going to go see it and don’t want the surprises wrecked, skip over the next eighteen paragraphs. I am going to describe exactly what went on in the film.
This is not in the order it is presented in the film. There was this very rich, crazy, and powerful woman called Athena. She was joking on social media with some friends about hunting down and killing deplorables for fun. A friend of hers got his cell phone hacked and this created a scandal and twitterstorm. A lot of right wing conspiracy bloggers treated this fantasy exchange like it was something really going on.
All this cost Athena huge opportunities as associates severed connections with her. So somehow Athena got the idea to do it for real to get even. It seems to have also been a cover for taking out one specific blogger called Crystal.
Here is the first irony between the film and reality. President Trump got the film’s release postponed for six months by creating a twitter storm over the false idea that a film advocating killing Trump’s supporters had been made. In the film, the ‘Athena’ character stages a real ‘deplorables hunt’ out of revenge for being accused on social media of holding one, or at least advocating for one.
So, Athena finds some young, wealthy and ‘woke’ people to join her hunt, and some mercenary type to give them some training. They kidnap twelve people. They send them to Athena’s estate in Croatia; an interesting locale. They make it up to look like they are still in America.
It all goes well for them at first. The prey is released and given some weapons. The ‘redneck’ fools who bloviate about their constitutional right to ‘bear arms’ in their own defence prove comically inept at using guns to defend themselves. Most are soon killed off.
However, Athena’s plans start to fall apart. The Crystal character in particular survives by not trusting the other deplorables. She clearly has some sort of training for this kind of thing.
A couple of deplorables get the jump on a couple of Athena’s minions. The latter plead for their lives, whining that they just work for Athena, who is making them do it. The two deplorables get soft hearted and let them live, and are then promptly betrayed and killed.
Crystal and one other deplorable hide in a boxcar and discover that some illegal migrants, with women and small children, are there with them. The Croatian police find them. The other deplorable gets himself killed in a shootout with the police. Crystal instead protects the migrants at risk to herself, showing what kind of person she really is.
The bribed Croatian police turn Crystal over to Athena’s crew and she has to escape again. Athena becomes furious that her fellow elitists have proven so incompetent as people hunters and starts helping Crystal to kill them off.
This is the second irony between the film and reality. Trump Republican type people howled about a movie in which people like them are hunted down by elitist democrat type people. In fact it is as much about the politically correct caviar eaters being hunted down by the deplorables; in fact mostly by Crystal.
Athena seems to have turned one of the deplorables by promising to let him go if he helps her to bag Crystal. He tries to win Crystal’s trust by guiding her to the ‘liberals’ operating base. She gets the liberal elitists there, but catches on to the other deplorable and kills him, too.
The elitists prove to be just as stupid and incapable as the deplorables when under attack. Two of them debated about whether one of the employees should be called ‘black’ or African American’ while white person Crystal walked up on them with her trusty hand gun.
Athena’s mercenary ‘consultant’ proves to be a charlatan who has never been anywhere near a war. Crystal dispatches him efficiently.
Finally Crystal finds her way to Athena, in her kitchen. They discuss the right way to make a grilled cheese sandwich. They discover that Athena found the wrong Crystal. The one who wrote all the insulting stuff about Athena has a slightly different name than the Crystal who lives in the same town, who is a veteran of some sort of special unit in the American army in Afghanistan.
Crystal asks Athena what this is all for. Athena says she has been insulted by accusations of hunting humans for sport. Crystal points out that this is what she has in fact done. In true liberal elite fashion, Athena is incapable of acknowledging her own actions.
They discuss whether Athena is crazy. Athena rationalizes that crazy people do not know they are crazy, and she knows she is crazy, so she is not crazy. Crystal is unconvinced.
Crystal and Athena have one hell of a bloody girl fight, using various kitchen utensils as well as a blowtorch. Athena has dark hair and is all in black, Crystal is blonde and in pale colors. Crystal kills Athena.
Crystal eats the grilled cheese sandwich. She cauterizes her wounds with the blowtorch, cleans herself up, and puts on one of Athena’s expensive dresses. She then waves her gun and orders the crew of Athena’s private jet to fly her back to the USA. She invites them to try some caviar and announces that this is just great.
Now, how is that for dark humour and satire?
Spoiler warning is now off. Resume reading. I am now back on my Rorschachian take on all this. I would be fine with fanatics of left, right, and centre killing each other off, except for the damage it would cause to their surroundings and to the lives of normal people.
No, Trumpians, you are not ‘The Normal’ people. There are really not very many of you. You are just loud, obnoxious, and attention seeking. Normal people want to live normal lives and let other people live, too. They do not see life as a political drama.
Deplorables, you do not even have the distinction of being the really dangerous kind of fanatic. As the film makes clear, it is liberalism which is the most dangerous form of fanaticism. They want to perfect everybody. If you do not feel like being perfected, you must be evil. So you must be destroyed.
This is why reviewers who work for large news organizations, which have that liberal bias, seen unable to understand ‘The Hunt’ at all. The more independent and real-worldly reviewers notice that while the film has plenty of satire to direct at the bubbas, the red staters, it does slant toward them. Athena is in black, Crystal is in white.
My own bias comes from my long study of geopolitics. I do not find it puzzling that the ‘woke’ liberal types in this film turn so easily to violence. I repeat that Liberalism is the most dangerous ideology. They are the globalists, the green new dealers, the people who see the human race as a disease on the planet, who would like to reduce earth’s population to under a billion.
This could be the start point for a whole new article on the conflict between ideologies, and the need for saner people to take control of mother earth. Here I am just writing about a movie with some controversy built into it. My fantasy is that a Crystal will emerge from somewhere to wipe out the globalists and lead us to a more sensible way of living.
The problem the film now has is that it opens right as The Plague is arriving in the North American experience and audiences for everything are being locked down. I saw the film on opening night and there were few people in attendance. This despite the theatre management’s strategy of only selling every other seat according to a checkerboard diagram, in order to create ‘distance’ between people.
There was some sneering on Twitter about the film only making six million dollars on opening day. But this was not Star Wars. It cost only fifteen million dollars to make. It will make back those production costs. I suspect it will do quite well once it gets into platforms where coronavirus cannot go. I will probably watch it again at some point.
If you can’t go and see it, stream it and help Blum and Lindelof make their money back.