October 1, 2020

VIFF 2020 | Mads Mikkelsen Drinks Hard – 'Another Round'

"The world is never as you expect."
Mads Mikkelsen Maria Bonnevie Thomas Vinterberg | Another Round (Druk) | VIFF 2020
Vancouver International Film Festival
VIFF 2020—Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg and actor Mads Mikkelsen reunite for a mid-life crisis film about overcoming general antipathy in your everyday life of routine and predictability. Another Round (aka Druk) has the basic yet somewhat ingenious premise of self-medication by maintaining a base-level of alcohol in your system throughout the day to keep a peak level of enthusiasm or engagement by way of inebriation.

Scripted by Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm, the Danish film cites a theory about human beings having a naturally diminished blood-alcohol level too low by about 0.05%. Thus, Mikkelsen's Martin and his group of degenerate forty-year-old teacher buddies embark on a kind of scientific experiment in drinking constantly over the course of the day while making sure to self-monitor and maintain a consistent slight buzz.

It's a nakedly reckless social experiment made pretty clearly dangerous yet the performances sell the naivety of the characters' eagerness to alter their menial lives for the better. We follow the various teachers through their normal routines as they find themselves more engaged, confident, and enthusiastic about their lives and work.

Mads Mikkelsen Thomas Vinterberg | Another Round (Druk) | VIFF 2020
Zentropa Entertainments / Mongrel Media
As it goes, Martin becomes a more present and invested teacher, husband, and father. Obviously, these are over-simplifications of much larger problems and Vinterberg uses booze and alcoholism as easy metaphors for our motivations and feelings of being stuck in life.

Mikkelsen and Vinterberg continue their fruitful storytelling partnership for a small but very relatable story of middle-aged dissatisfaction and malaise. Watching such a talented actor play a drunken history teacher for two-hours straight is also never not a total delight despite the inherent sadness and limited contentment of the very premise. However, I think we can agree some of us could use a drink right about now.

Another Round screens virtually at the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival online as part of the Contemporary World Cinema series and is available to stream until October 7th (in BC only). It also screens live at both Vancity Theatre and The Cinematheque on September 28, October 2nd and 4th.

More | YVArcade / AV Club / Indiewire / Polygon

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