In the Blood

I blodet

Rasmus HeisterbergDenmark104 minutes201614AColourDanish

A brilliant but entitled Danish medical student allows his possessive feelings for his best friend throw his decadent social circle into chaos, in this scathing critique of contemporary upper-class amorality from the screenwriter of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and A Royal Affair.

Rasmus Heisterberg has been one of Denmark's best and most versatile screenwriters over the last decade, with credits including A Royal Affair and his smash-hit adaptation for Stieg Larsson's Millennium series. With In the Blood, he shows that he's equally adept at directing.

Raised in a privileged but emotionally distant household, Simon (Kristoffer Bech) is a brilliant medical student who breezes through school with no apparent effort, and spends his spare time partying with his roommates, upper-class twits all. Simon's most heartfelt ambition is to take a year to work on a study project in the Amazon with his best friend Knud (Elliott Crosset Hove), whom he's intensely jealous and protective of — a fact that escapes Knud, but not Knud's longtime girlfriend, Mia (Lea Gregersen). Incapable of taking on any relationship unless on the most obsessive and all-consuming terms, Simon becomes progressively more isolated as he is gripped ever tighter by his compulsive mania.

Shot in an almost claustrophobically intimate style (you're likely to get a contact hangover from the morning-after scenes), In the Blood perfectly captures the perma-stoned, self-centred world Simon and his friends inhabit — a world marked not only by entitlement and debauchery, but a complete and utter lack of fellow feeling. A scathing critique of contemporary upper-class amorality that plays like Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies on E, In the Blood is propelled by a kind of ferocious dismay.