Directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (Druk) has been heavily pitched as the favorite for the 2021 Academy Award in the International Film category. The two previously partnered in the excellent The Hunt, which earned an Oscar nomination in 2013. Tobias Lindholm, who co-wrote the screenplay of Another Round, was also nominated for an Oscar in 2015, as the director of A War.
In Another Round, four old friends, who are now middle-aged high school teachers, learn about a theory that humans have a natural deficiency of alcohol, and that if they increase their alcohol consumption they will function more efficiently. The real-life alleged proponent of this theory, Norwegian psychiatrist Finn Skårderud, who specializes in eating disorders, has stated that Vinterberg has misrepresented his work. Nonetheless, I have known people who have expressed the same belief about marijuana, and there are people who take microdoses of LSD for the same reason.
In the film, the friends experiment with increasing their alcohol consumption, and at first it seems to work. But then they drink more and more and it has the opposite effect, to say the least.
Sometimes a film presents moral lessons that are subtle and often even unintentional. This is what bothers me about Another Round. For those who have not seen the film, but intend to, you might want to skip the rest of this review.
At the end of Another Round, there are two moral lessons, perhaps, as I said, unintended, that repulsed me. The first is that sometimes the best way you can help your friends is by killing yourself—and your innocent pet dog while you’re at it. The second message is that you can become deliriously happy if someone else forgives you, and then you celebrate by getting drunk all over again. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer films and novels wherein the protagonist solves his or her problems through their own initiative instead of by someone forgiving them.