Tribeca 2022: “Rounding”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Each person has their own way to cope with trauma or with a devastating event that leaves a lasting scar on the heart. It’s like you keep looking back, stuck in the past with no way forward. And when that happens, the only way to fix it, perhaps, is to look in the eye of demons that one way or another must stop hunting their target.

James Hayman (Namir Smallwood) is a promising resident doctor at a big hospital. His knowledge is far beyond his colleagues’. However, after an incident with an old patient at the hospital, the young man collapses. Then he is transferred to a rural place for a fresh start. He hoped that everything that he left behind, including a traumatic experience, will be put to rest. But when he meets an asthma patient Helen Adso (Sidney Flanigan), he begins acting strange. When he meets Helen’s mother (Rebecca Spense), he begins to suspect something sinister. Maybe it’s just a fruit of his imagination, his dark past or is there something more to it?

Screenwriter Alex Thompson and Christopher Thompson come up with a strong narrative in which they give life to the young doctor that could beat any of his superior with his vision. But the writers take a different route, letting James Hayman evolve in a different direction. Horror thriller “Rounding” is a decent film about what it means to live with what hurts the most. James is not a bad doctor nor a bad person. He makes a mistake, therefore, is not willing to forgive himself so easily. But it’s because of his strange behavior, people around him question him. In reality, James has his reasons to act the way he does. That’s why Alex Thompson’s film works. Because we clearly see those reasons, realize them and try to justify James’ actions. All that of course, only to certain point, way before the demons become visible to us too.

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