Druk [Another Round] (2020)

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Writer: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, Lars Ranthe, Maria Bonnevie, Helene Reingaard Neumann
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 23.10.2020

Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) and Peter (Lars Ranthe) are all middle-aged teachers and kind of stuck in their daily routine. You might even say that they are in a rut. After spending a night partying and losing all control, they decide that they want to test a theory that human beings were just born with too little alcohol in their blood – and if everybody maintained a constant level of drunkenness, live quality would improve considerably. The theory seems to work in practice as well – at least at first.

I expected Druk to be much more depressing than it was. But there is a certain levity to it, all the while being a very critical look at the ways alcohol and masculinity intertwine. I really liked it.

The film poster showing Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) running through a champagne shower, the background completely blurry.

Druk finds a good balance between showing the evils of alcohol – and its positive sides, leaving space to enjoy alcohol and even getting nicely drunk every once in a while, without pretending that there are no averse effects from drinking.

But how much alcohol is too much/enough isn’t really the point of the film. Instead it looks more closely at what alcohol is used for and thus points out the main problem: the men here have no emotional language, they cannot really express their feelings at all. So whenever they feel something, they turn to alcohol: Martin breaks down? Let’s have a drink. A student is scared of exams? Let him have a drink. Loneliness, relationship trouble, lack of inspiration? Let’s all drink. Grief? Joy? Drinks all around. And that is the problem really – that alcohol is the only coping mechanism available, especially to men.

Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) at dinner with his friends Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) and Peter (Lars Ranthe).

With this serious topic, and the fact that this is a Vinterberg movie, I was expecting a heavy film. It is a film that is much like getting drunk yourself – very fun at first, but then the highs and the lows keep chasing each other pretty quickly. And still, through it all, there is a sense of levity that is epitomized at the end when Martin finally gets to dance, finding back to another way of expressing himself (also, let Mads Mikkelsen dance in every movie, please, thank you).

All of this makes Druk an enjoyable, thoughtful film that always managed to connect with me emotionally, thus keeping me engaged. I absolutely enjoyed it.

Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) teaching in class.

Summarizing: very good.

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