5 July 2012 by Luke McCormick
Based on the acclaimed novel by Julia Leigh, The Hunter is a powerful psychological drama that tells the story of Martin (Willem Dafoe), a ruthless mercenary who has been sent to Tasmania to search for the last Tasmanian Tiger, an animal long though extinct, but rumoured to be roaming the remote Tasmanian wilderness.
Set against the rugged and mysterious Tasmanian landscape, which is brilliantly captured with dramatic cinematography, The Hunter is a taut, psychological drama about the human condition and the choices we all make.
As Martin's dramatic hunt for the elusive Tiger unfolds, he discovers the mysteries hidden within the wild landscape and confronts long-forgotten emotions that resurface.
Local guide, Jack Mindy (Sam Neill) provides Martin with a base camp - the ramshackle home of spirited children Sass (Morgana Davies) and Bike (Finn Woodlock), and their despondent mother Lucy (Frances O'Connor), whose zoologist husband has been missing in the wilderness for months.
Keeping his mission to find the Tiger a secret from the family and the local townspeople, Martin's suspicions are raised when his traps and equipment are sabotaged and he is followed during his solitary expeditions into the harsh country.
As he is drawn into his dramatic search for the elusive Tiger, Martin's empathy for the family deepens and his unexpected connection to them, and majestic wilderness around him, forces him to confront the reality of his work and personal morality, with dramatic consequences.
Based on the debut novel by Julia Leigh, first published in Australia in 1999 to broad critical acclaim, the film adaptation is directed by Daniel Nettheim and was shot entirely in Tasmania.
The brooding atmosphere of the Tasmanian wilderness is a character in itself, as it affects everyone involved in the drama, with many scenes breathtaking in their wild beauty.
Some of the locations that feature prominently include Mount Wellington, the logging town of Maydena, the small town of Deloraine, set under the backdrop of the Great Western Tiers, and the majestic escarpments of Tasmania's Central Plateau.
The Hunter is released on 06 July 2012.