Another Round (Druk) (12A)
Another Round (Druk) (12A)
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Runtime: 116 minutes
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang , Maria Bonnevie, Helene Reingaard
Synopsis: Four high school teachers consume alcohol on a daily basis to see how it affects their social and professional lives.
Danish film director Thomas Vinterberg, along with Lars von Trier, co-founded the Dogme 95 movement in filmmaking, which established rules for simplifying movie production. He is best known for the films The Celebration (Festen) 1998, Submarino (2010), The Hunt (2012), Far from the Madding Crowd (2015).
Another Round (Druk), which Vinterberg co-wrote with Tobias Lindholm, was based on a play Vinterberg had written while working at the Burgtheater, Vienna. Additional inspiration came from Vinterberg’s own daughter, Ida, who had told him stories of the drinking culture within the Danish youth. The film won Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards on April 25, 2021.
There is an obscure philosophical theory from Norwegian psychiatrist Finn Skarderud that humans should have been born with a small amount of alcohol in our blood; that modest inebriation opens our minds to the world around us, diminishing problems and increasing creativity. Intrigued, Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) and three of his friends, all weary high school teachers, embark on a risky experiment to maintain a constant level of intoxication throughout the workday. Initial results are positive, but as the units are knocked back and stakes are raised, it becomes increasingly clear that some bold acts carry severe consequences.
Another Round is an entertaining, energetic film which is very unusual in not demonising -and in fact at times celebrating – the influence of alcohol.
The four Copenhagen schoolteachers decide as a sociological experiment to stay drunk all day. It is often hilarious, with sly sips of vodka before class, but soon turns into heavy consumption and unrestrained levels of debauchery. Unexpected tragedy seems inevitable and there is a prevalent air of melancholy.
Mikkelsen gives a mesmerising performance as Martin, a history teacher and a former live wire, whose life is now in disarray. He is ineffective in the classroom, becoming estranged from his wife and children and in a superb piece of acting during a restaurant birthday celebration, becomes totally lost and quietly breaks down with tears welling in his eyes after downing a vodka shot.
The acting is superb from the four teachers – all best friends, played by Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang – as their experiment about the creative power of raising your daily blood alcohol content progresses.
If Churchill won World War II in a dense fog of spirits, how could it not benefit them and their students? Slowly, but surely, the alcohol makes the four friends and their surroundings loosen up – the experiment progresses for some, and goes off track for others. Alcohol can generate great results in world history, but can also have severe consequences.
Another Round is in turn fun, touching and a thought-provoking drama about friendship, freedom – and alcohol – centring round a magnificent performance from Mikkelson.
The film is dedicated to Thomas Vinterberg’s daughter Ida Maria Vinterberg who was killed in a car crash in Belgium, four days into filming her scenes playing Mikkelson’s daughter.
Images courtesy of Studio Canal