Film Review: In The Blood


Smells Like Surgical Spirit: Group of medical students learn that every choice has consequences.

Having established himself as one of Scandinavia’s most prolific screenwriters Rasmus Heisterberg makes his debut as a director with an existential drama about friendship and the loss of innocence.

For a group of medical students, summer is a time without worries or repercussions. The age of responsibility has yet to dawn and as they prepare for one final year of study four young men party hard and chase girls without considering what worries tomorrow might bring.

Best-known to UK audiences for his screenplays for King’s Game, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, A Royal Affair, and Northwest, Rasmus Heisterberg’s long-standing collaboration with director Nikolaj Arcel has been rewarded with a Silver Bear for best screening at the Berlin Film Festival and an Oscar nomination. In Denmark, films based on screenplays he has written or co-written have sold 4.3 million tickets at the box office.

Rasmus Heisterberg is set to collaborate once again with Nikolaj Arcel on RFK a biographical drama about Robert F. Kennedy starring Matt Damon.

His directorial debut is a meditative paean for a transitional age. Focusing on a group of friends who enjoy one last hedonistic summer before they are forced to accept the responsibilities of adulthood, In the Blood is a melancholic portrait of discovery and transformation.


Simon and his best friend Knud have enjoyed a seemingly never-ending succession of wild parties and outrageous pranks while studying for their exams. Cracks begin to appear in the friendship when Knud (Elliott Crosset Hove) and two other housemates decide to put their shared house on the market. Simon (Kristoffer Bech) is not ready to bid farewell to a hard drinking lifestyle free of consequences.

Plans to spend a semester in South America are thrown into turmoil when Knud realises he still has feelings for his estranged girlfriend. The longstanding friendship seems destined to fall apart because Simon is happy to spend his time stealing surgical spirit to entertain people at parties while evading the oncoming storm of adulthood. As the pair diverge Simon plunges headfirst on a path of self-destruction.

A youth movie not made for an exclusively young audience. In The Blood‘s sketch of alienation and self-actualisation will remind viewers of those long forgotten days when adulthood was a terrifying event on a fast-approaching horizon. Relive those last summers with this elegy for a more innocent time.

In the Blood is screening at the Nordic-Baltic Film Festival.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s