The Circle (2015 film)

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The Circle
The Circle film poster.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Levan Akin
Produced by Benny Andersson
Ludvig Andersson
Cecilia Norman Mardell
Hanna Bengtsson
Screenplay by Sara Bergmark Elfgren (novel & screenplay)
Levan Akin (screenplay)
Mats Strandberg (novel)
Starring Josefin Asplund
Helena Engström
Ruth Vega Fernandez
Irma von Platen
Hanna Asp
Leona Axelsen
Sverrir Gudnason
Music by Benny Andersson
Cinematography Neus Ollé-Soronellas
Edited by Gustav Wachtmeister
Distributed by Buena Vista International
Release date
  • 18 February 2015 (2015-02-18)
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Budget SEK 40 million[1] (about USD 4,7 million)

The Circle (original title: Cirkeln) is a Swedish fantasy film produced and scored by Benny Andersson and directed and co-written by Levan Akin, based on the best-selling novel The Circle by Sara Bergmark Elfgren and Mats Strandberg. It was intended to be the first in an trilogy of films based on Engelsfors, though plans of the sequels have been cancelled[2]. A film adaptation was to be produced by Filmlance in 2013, with Levan Akin set to direct and Bergmark Elfgren as script writer. The production was put on hold due to disagreements between the authors and Filmlance. Akin left the project as well.[3] Benny Andersson's son Ludvig brought the novel to his attention and he bought the rights to produce the film, more faithfully than Filmlance intended. Open castings for young girls who could play the leads were held all over Sweden.[4]

The film was screened at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival,[5] and it was released in Swedish cinemas on 18 February 2015.


The film follows Rebecka, Minoo, Vanessa, Anna-Karin, Ida and Linnea, all of whom are first-year students at the same secondary school. The apparent suicide of Linnea's best friend Elias becomes the start for a series of strange events in the town, as the 6 girls discover they are witches chosen to save the world.



The film was shot in Södertälje, Lidingö and Vuollerim.[6]


The score of the film was produced and composed by Benny Andersson, with his son Ludvig Andersson providing additional music and serving as music supervisor. The film includes music by Anna von Hausswolff, Fever Ray, Daughter, Style of Eye and new music by The Hives. Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill is used promintently in the film and She Will by Savages from the album Silence Yourself is played over the closing credits. Benny Andersson secured the rights to use Running Up That Hill by promising Kate Bush's manager to repay the favour by performing as a pianist if she needed one. Originally Andersson wanted Karin Dreijer Andersson to compose the score.[7]


After the Berlin Film Festival screening, Screen International wrote about The Circle that it was "emotionally literate" and that the characters had "an unexpected degree of depth".[8] The Hollywood Reporter stated that the script did not develop the characters properly and that it felt like parts of a TV-series where everybody knew everything about the characters and that the actors where not allowed to do much with their characters.[9] It was met with mostly positive reviews from Swedish critics.[10]

Changes from the novel[edit]

  • Several characters from the book were cut from the film version, including Nicholaus, Mona Månstråle and Jari. Other characters such as Gustaf, Jonte, Tommy Ekberg, Matilda and the Chosen Ones' parents (save from Vanessa's and Anna-Karins), are drastically reduced in prominence.
  • In the film, Anna-Karin is in love with Kevin rather than Jari, who does not appear.
  • Anna-Karin, instead of Linnéa, is first captured by Max. Linnéa does not try to murder Max on her own after Minoo discovers the truth, and instead draws the gun in the final battle, where Max changes shape into Elias.
  • Most of Max's backstory is removed, such as his obsession with Minoo due to her physical resemblance to an ex-girlfriend he'd murdered.
  • In the book, the ritual was meant to produce a truth serum in order to find out who the demons' Blessed One is. In the film, it's to produce a poison that will break the Blessing.
  • There are no references to Elias having been engaged in self-harm.
  • In the film, only Linnéa finds out about Minoo's love for Max. In the book, all of the Chosen Ones knew.


  1. ^ "Fantasysuccén "Cirkeln" färdiginspelad". (in Swedish). Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Glory Box" (in Swedish). Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Nytt samarbete sluter Cirkeln". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Tyska tonåringar gillar Cirkeln". (in Swedish). 11 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Inspelningsstart för "Cirkeln"". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 30 July 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "The Circle". Screen International. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links[edit]