The Hunter The Hunter
Film Date :   2011
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The Hunter

The Hunter

The Hunteris a 2011 Australian film, directed by Daniel Nettheim and produced by Vincent Sheehan, based on the 1999 novel by Julia Leigh .It stars Willem Dafoe , Sam Neill and Frances O'Connor . To prepare for the role, Dafoe worked with a bush survival expert who taught him practical tips like how to de-scent himself so animals couldn't smell him in the bush.Dafoe flew to Hobart , Tasmania for the premiere of the film at the State Cinema.

The film opened to the Australian public in cinemas on 29 September 2011.

A mercenary hunter named Martin David (Willem Dafoe) is hired by a military biotech company called Red Leaf to go to Tasmania and follow up on two sightings of the presumably extinct Tasmanian Tiger . His orders are to recover tissue and organ samples and to report back once he gathers them, as the company is convinced the sighting reports are reliable. When he arrives in Tasmania under the alias of a professor from a university, he takes up a temporary residence at a rural location with a single mother named Lucy Armstrong (Frances O'Connor) and her two young children Sass and her brother Bike. Sass is a very vocal girl, while Bike chooses never to speak, similar to David who prefers isolation. Lucy Armstrong spends most of her time sleeping due to her dependency on prescribed medication - her grief caused by her environmentalist husband Jarrah Armstrong, who disappeared in the Tasmanian wilderness some eight months earlier. Speculation surrounds his disappearance as there has been a longstanding conflict between the local loggers and the 'greenies', a group of environmentalists who have set up barriers to protest the deforestation.

Realizing he does not want to stay at the Armstrong's home due to a neglected malfunctioning generator and the discomfort he feels around the children, David attempts to find someone else he can pay in exchange for temporary lodging. He searches at the local pub, only to be accosted by the loggers who believe he is one of the environmental protestors, which David never corrects due to the need for keeping his real agenda for being in Tasmania a secret. The loggers warn him that if he doesn't leave, he will end up like Armstrong's husband. With nowhere else to turn, David is forced to stay at the Armstrong home. Not long after his arrival, David is met by a local guide named Jack Mindy (Sam Neill) who gives him a brief synopsis of the environment, and travels with him on his first outing. Mindy remains suspicious of David's true intentions throughout the story.

During his stay, David goes into the bush for twelve days at a time, setting up various steel traps and makeshift snares, while waiting patiently to see if the tiger will surface and checking his traps regularly to see if the animal has been caught. Amidst his comings and goings to and from the wilderness, David slowly befriends the Armstrong children and his isolationist persona begins to change gradually. He helps reduce Armstrong's dependency on medication, in addition to fixing the generator. The story reveals that the pills are being prescribed by her Doctor, and delivered by Jack Mindy, who has been unofficially looking in on the family from time-to-time. David later confronts Mindy and suggests that it may not be a good idea for him to be visiting the Armstrong family, as David suspects that Mindy has an unhealthy obsession with Lucy Armstrong. Eventually, Lucy makes a full recovery and starts taking better care of her children, while befriending David. At the same time, Bike provides David with clues as to the Tasmanian Tiger's whereabouts by drawing a picture of it next to spots of water. These clues were predicated on the fact that Jarrah Armstrong had also been searching for the tiger and was communicating his findings to Bike. David later discovers that Red Leaf had initially contracted Jarrah to locate it, a pursuit he eventually abandoned in favor of taking up an environmental cause to protect the wildlife. Lucy Armstrong informs David that Red Leaf wanted Jarrah to find the tiger because they believe that it has a venom in its bite that can cause paralysis, which they could then use for military purposes. She details her husband's initial pursuit of the animal and tells David that it would be better off if the tiger was extinct, in order that greedy corporations would not be able to exploit it.

While David continues his search for the Tasmanian Tiger, trouble escalates as Mindy becomes jealous of David's interactions with the Armstrong family. Remembering that Red Leaf had advised him to contact them should there be any problems, Mindy calls them and reports that David is spending more time with Armstrong and her two children in lieu of doing what he was hired to do. Red Leaf contacts David and reminds him of what they are paying him to find. David assures them that he has found the tiger's den during his travels, but Red Leaf insists that he put his work first and drop any more fraternization with Armstrong. David - now torn between his friendship with the family and his loyalty to Red Leaf - reluctantly heads back into the bush, much to the disappointment of Armstrong and her children. Simultaneously, tensions begin to escalate between the loggers and the environmentalists, who show up on Armstrong's property one evening and threaten her and other environmentalist friends who are visiting.

David meanwhile, having discovered the location of the tiger's den as well as the remains of Jarrah Armstrong, is accosted by another company operative who has been sent in by Red Leaf to replace him. The operative follows David into the bush and holds him at gunpoint, demanding that he show him the tiger's den. David cunningly manages to lead the operative into one of his steel traps and while freeing himself, is able to kill his captor. Now cognizant of the fact that Armstrong and her children may be in grave danger from Red Leaf, David returns to find their home burnt down. David confronts Mindy, who tells him that Lucy and Sass were killed in the fire, believing it to be an accident. But it is discovered that by reporting David to Red Leaf, Mindy became indirectly responsible for their deaths, as it appears as it was the operative who was the one who set the house on fire, though it also possible that the loggers may have done it. Mindy informs David that Bike managed to survive and had been sent away to live in an orphanage. David angrily reprimands an emotionally remorseful Mindy and leaves him to wallow in his grief.

Angered and frustrated, David sets out into the bush to find the Tasmanian Tiger and put an end to Red Leaf's pursuit. When he awakens next to the den the following morning, he looks up to see the tiger staring at him from a ledge above. As the tiger turns and calmly walks away, David climbs the ledge, pursues the creature and after an initial emotional hesitation, reluctantly shoots it. David then approaches the dying tiger and becomes emotionally overwrought. He then proceeds to cremate the tiger in order to remove all traces of its existence and the next day, scatters it's ashes to the wind using the water bottle of Jarrah Armstrong.

David returns to town and calls Red Leaf from a payphone, informing them that what they are looking for will never be found, and likewise tells them not to bother looking for him. The very last scene shows David arriving at the orphanage. When Bike sees David, he runs excitedly toward him, says something inaudible and the two embrace.

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