Writer/Director: Rasmus Heisterberg | 104min | Denmark | Drama
Award-winning of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and A Royal Affair Rasmas Heisterberg gets behind the camera for his directorial debut IN THE BLOOD with some success, although his scathing critique of Copenhagen’s student medical elite fails to reach a satisfying conclusion, feeling more like a freewheeling mood piece capturing the zeitgeist of Summer in Nørrebro, in an alcoholic haze.
His film follows medic in the making Simon (Kristoffer Bech), a brilliant but compulsive student who breezes through exams and spends the evenings partying before heading to the Amazon for a study year with his best friend Knud (Elliott Crosset Hove), an introspective softie whose longtime girlfriend, Mia (Lea Gregersen) leaves him in the opening scenes.
Heisterberg captures the dreamy days of summer and really gets inside the characters concerned. Intimate and even claustrophobic, in a good way – it’s a superb portrait of young middle class privilege where self-centredness and blasé ennui takes centre stage. Knud is the most likeable character and Heisterberg conveys his emotional vulnerability in a role earnestly captured by Elliott Crosset Hove. Simon is less appealing: When caught stealing medical equipment he thinks only of his trip rather than showing any remorse, then becomes obsessed with bar worker Emilie but rather messes her around. This is a soulful and resonating drama that explores its characters effectively without becoming melodramatic or intense. MT
THE NORDIC BALTIC FILM FESTIVAL 1-11 DECEMBER 2016