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Another Round

    Most of us have done it – drinking for fun, drinking to avoid social awkwardness, drinking to forget the pain, drinking just to simply show how much you can drink. Alcohol is strange. It’s the most widespread, socially acceptable drug, a major cause of death, suffering and broken families. It’s also one of the most common pastime activities and can be extremely enjoyable in moderate amounts. When having a few beers with friends, you don’t think about how many lives were destroyed by it. When enjoying a glass of wine with your partner, you don’t think about all the traffic accidents caused by it. It’s also a catalyst – for pain and for happiness, a tool that has been used for generations and will be used for generations to come and how it is applied is up to you and only you.

    “What is youth? A dream. What is love? The dream’s content.”

    Søren Kierkegaard

    Thomas Vinterberg, the creative force behind “Another Round”, portrays the different sides of alcohol – how it can be used to build a bridge between generations, combat anxiety, boost creativity, but also lead to addiction and destroy families and careers. Mads Mikkelsen delivers an outstanding performance as a high school history teacher, who struggles to connect, both professionally with his students and personally with his wife. Together with a few of his close friends and fellow teachers, he decides to test the theory that humans should have a constant 0,05% alcohol in their blood in order to live a more enjoyable life. There are a few simple rules – don’t get caught by school staff, only drink during the day and keep alcohol levels under the agreed amount.

    The effects are imminent. Inter-generational walls are broken and teachers are able to bond with their students in new and creative ways. Finding a method to capture the attention of a young audience is not simple and alcohol proves itself as a useful gateway. It also helps in their personal struggles – Mads Mikkelsen’s character tries to reconnect with his wife and start healing their marriage. The story takes a few twists and turns that I don’t want to spoil, but it’s enough to say that with alcohol things are bound to get out of control.

    Another Round is a dark comedy, sad and hilarious at the same time, with an underlying tone of bitter-sweetness that’s natural to life itself. The movie is deeply personal – the daughter of the director passed away before filming started and production was postponed for a while. It feels like a way for him to cope with her loss and find the beauty in life again. It’s a hopeful message to keep searching for happiness even if it means getting completely shitfaced with your friends and forgetting about your troubles. The ending is an epic scene of hopefulness, happiness and a love message to life itself. It is one of the best movies of the year and I think everyone can find a connection to their own life in one way or another.