“ROOM 304” Sex, Betrayal, Corruption Amos Lassen In a Copenhagen hotel, sex, betrayal and corruption are everyday occurrences especially when nine disparate lives intersect by chance or fate. We see a hotel manager look at his empty life and this leads to devastating consequences for himself, his wife and his mistress. A Spanish stewardess seeks intimacy and finds it in a most unexpected way. A reserved concierge is forced out of his shell by a shocking event, and an Albanian refugee avenges his wife, but ends up discovering something surprising instead. Director Birgitte Staermose’s debut feature makes us think before reserving hotel accommodations. This is a small film set in room 304 in a Copenhagen hotel during three days. It all begins with a gunshot and then takes us three days back in time. Before I realized it I found myself pulled into the plot and wanting to see how everything works out. At first I thought it was too predictable but was corrected as the movie moved forward. Hotels are extremely intimate and remarkably anonymous at the same time. When you are not at home, you create a kind of home in a hotel room, where you sleep in the same bed where a stranger has not been lying in front of you for long. What happens behind all those closed doors? If those walls could talk anyway … ‘Room 304’ is a thriller and a drama, in which the lives of both hotel guests and employees are often unsettled. artfully strung together in a somewhat artificial way. Eight languages are spoken in this film; besides Danish we include English, German, Spanish, Albanian, Croatian and Philippine. Everyone seems to have something on their side. Kasper (Mikael Birkkjaer), the owner of the hotel, has suffered a personal tragedy. In order to get rid of his grief, he deceived his wife Helene (Trine Dyrholm) with the manager of reception (Stine Stengade), whose love for another employee, Jonas (Magnus Krepper), has cooled down considerably. A lonely Spanish flight attendant (Ariadna Gil) has settled in the hotel to shift her mind, but it is not so easy to find someone in the bar for a fun one night stand. The dish washer Agim (Luam Jaha) has something else to his mind: he is determined to avenge the pain caused to his wife (Ksenija Marinkovic). The stiff receptionist Martin (David Dencik) is just stiff, When the Filipino chambermaid (Lourdes Faberes) finds a gun between the sheets, the lives of all these people are turned upside down. We face the questions — Who belongs to whom, what is the order in which things happen and, above all, why does a character do what he does? making the film very complex and not very accessible, especially in the beginning. As more pieces fall into place and the mutual relationships and individual motivations become clear, ‘Room 304’ gains strength. Fates meet and intertwine in strange ways into a hotel in Copenhagen.