Another Round In Praise Of Alcoholism
Another Round(Danish,Amazon Prime Video)
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, and Lars Ranthe
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
This very rumbustious film is described as a “celebration of alcohol”. I don’t know what that means. But the fey sometimes moving film, gets into the skin of inebriation and with just about enough room for the narration to breathe.
The film, apparently based on true events, is about a quartet of close friends, teachers in a school in Copenhagen facing what is known as a mid-life crisis.They decide to start consuming alcohol at their workplace to make their lectures more invigorating. As expected rhe experiment falls flat with the four teachers stumbling into class with slurring lessons. It would have been quite funny to watch these misguided gyan providers.But the film is neither judging them nor asking the audience to judge their romance with alcoholism.They are what they are. Sozzled scholars.
One of the four friends Martin is played by that wonderful actor Mads Mikkelsen(so brilliant as that caring kindergarten teacher wrongly accused of molestation in The Hunt) .He becomes the converging point for the plot. Martin’s marriage has just stopped working.When one night his wife confesses to an extra-marital affair he rages against her, drinks some more with his friends , one of whom eventually loses his life during an alcohol-induced adventure.
Time to sober up. Alas, unlike the protagonists the film never quite succeeds in getting back on its feet once the drunken stupor makes way for a moment of realization that alcohol isn’t really the solution to professional and personal problems. Apparently there is a huge problem of alcoholism in Denmark. Give the sobering statistics the film deserves praise for opening up the battles after the bottles.
Uncorking the strong beverage, in a room blaring retro music as the four friends dance their sorrows away makes good camera composition. But once the boisterousness dies down there is only an emptiness. That empty space, this film doesn’t know how to fill, though it tries.
Shall we say cheers to that?