One of the teachers of Another round He proposes to his bewildered students that they discover the identity of three legendary dipsomaniacs, people who spent their transcendent existence blowing alcohol. They don’t guess it. They are Churchill, Hemingway, and the American civil war hero Ulysses Grant. But the kids don’t have any idea who was a militantly abstemious politician full of love for animals and children. It was Hitler. This comparison between drunkards and sobers who have gone down in history can be biased and easy. In any case, the protagonists of this complex and excellent film follow the advice, even if they don’t know it, that Baudelaire once offered to his peers: “Get drunk on wine, poetry or virtue, but get drunk.”
They are high school teachers and also old and close friends. His daily life is grayish. Long ago they stopped dreaming, joy left them, there is only inertia, boredom and resignation to their work and their family and social relationships, the certainty of feeling alone. After a very fun and alcoholic dinner, they will propose to ingest slowly and without pausing, daily, a sufficient amount of deprives in their body, with the intention of regaining vitality, desire, communication with the people they love and with the students. They want to banish inner isolation, be creative, experience the joy of living. And the programmed alcohol offers them that point, everything seems to work, nothing is artificial or empty. But after the fleeting days of wine and roses, the chaos, the chaos, the fearsome hangovers, the monkey, the alarming loss of mental control, the consequent reproach of their environment, the daily vertigo, the sentimental abandonment, the terror will arrive.
Another round It is co-written and directed by Thomas Vinterberg, founder of Dogma, creator of a cinema as original as it is disturbing, author of films that stir you, that make you feel and think, like bittersweet Celebration and the terrible allegation about the moral lynching of an innocent man in The hunt. In its latest installment, the initial approach provokes the spectator’s smile and solidarity with these revolutionaries who believe they find in Bacchus the table of the castaway for their existential dissatisfaction. But our laughter is frozen when we attend the bill they must pay for their transgression. In the explosive final sequence, after funeral moments and the failure of his experiment, we regain vitality. The game involves a lot of risk. Hopefully it goes well for the survivors who one day insisted on feeling alive. That like that character in a Scott Fitzgerald story, they could confess: “I drink, because when I do, things happen.”
The interpreters, common in Vinterberg’s cinema, are credible and close to you. And, as always, it is impossible to look away from the face of the protagonist Mads Mikkelsen, an actor with a magnetic personality, with varied nuances, unsettling without resorting to effectism, authentic. And you celebrate that in this dark time for life some pearls appear in the movies. Very few, but comforting. This Danish film and the American film are, for my tastes not at all unrelated or exotic. Mank. Each of his father and mother. But with something common, those little things called talent and sensitivity.