Druk aka Another Round is a 2020 Danish drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Druk aka Another Round examines drinking culture that is prevalent worldwide and its impact on the characters in the film. In particular, four teaching colleagues/close friends viz. Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Peter (Lars Rathe) and Nickolaj (Magnus Millag).

At Nickolaj’s 40th birthday celebrations, the group discusses the theories of psychiatrist Finn Skårderud, who believes that having a blood alcohol content of 0.05 makes you more creative and relaxed.

Without the others’ knowledge, Martin, who is depressed and bored with his life, his marriage and his work, decides to test Skårderud’s hypothesis with favourable results. The group then decides to adopt this approach as a social experiment and begin drinking during working hours.

Inevitably, things get out of hand with fairly predictable results – what starts out as a fun project descends into a serious bout of alcoholism. However, despite the taint of tragedy in the way Druk ultimately turns out, there is a strong sense of life affirmation at the very end.

The film never preaches though and never targets alcohol as an evil that plagues mankind – no moralising of any kind is explored by director Vinterberg whatsoever. Instead, alcohol is merely a means to an end, to ward off depression and ennui brought about by the process of aging and alienation. The problem for Martin and his friends was not the alcohol but what the emptiness that the alcoholic experiment was supposed to resolve.

Mikkelsen’s performance is brilliant as Martin, expressing the contrast between his boredom and dissatisfaction before and his inspired re-invigorated self after he begins his alcoholic experiment. Mikkelsen is able to convey the joy and pain behind Martin’s eyes in equal measure as he embodies the everyman’s life dilemma – how to keep living life meaningfully.

Druk aka Another Round is without doubt one of the films of 2020 and is particularly relevant in a year where the very meaning of life has been questioned by people all over the globe. Highly recommended.

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