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Preparing for the imminent release of the much-praised “Room”, I was a bit hesitant to finally catch up with “Richard”. What I had heard reminded me a bit of “We need to talk about Kevin”, and while there have been very few better films over the last years, this is not necessarily something to look forward to…

Turns out, “What Richard did” is very different. It is not about a devil in human disguise, but about an average, albeit very handsome and popular, guy, rugby hero and family charm. As things happen, there are missteps, and sometimes a misstep cannot be undone. The film takes a lot of time to introduce us to the person before throwing the person in disarray. This allows you to make an assumption on what his possible reaction to “the incident” would be, whether he would be able to “do the right thing” (as he stresses early on in the film), and what that right thing could be.

These characters are for real, that’s what makes the film so strong. Especially the father (played by the brilliant Lars Mikkelsen) – is that the brother of Mats? one would assume so.), so confident in his position in life that he has worked hard on, the position of being a decent person mainly, makes this clear. You are always as strong as the next challenge, we find out, and maybe the life of a thoroughly good person is just a life that has never faced serious challenges. Don’t feel safe!

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/what_richard_did/

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