Norwegian therapist Finn Scorderud once said that people are too sober. He estimates that the ideal blood alcohol level for mankind is 0.05%. (It is interesting to note that the scientist Elizabeth Hurley made a similar remark that all Englishmen were two glasses under the size. I cannot confirm or deny this claim).
In the Danish-Swedish production of The Other Round, four friends and fellow teachers decided to test Scorderud’s theory. They agree to perform an experiment in which they maintain a level of 0.05% during use. (In comparison, 0.05% is below the legal limit of 0.08% in the US, which means a very low level of efficiency/destruction. The idea is to do a work based on dialogue with people. This is probably not ideal for fighter pilots or surgeons)).
At first sight, it looks like the four Sukers are doing pretty well. This little boost for self-confidence, letting go of the tongue, might seem like a bonus for tired and exhausted boys. They communicate with their students, show more interest in their activities and as a result the self-confidence also permeates their home life. Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) had so little to do with life that his students encouraged him to shoot. His family might have had similar ideas. The slightly drunk Martin gets his groove back. In his lessons he suddenly appears on one side and on the other side, the contact of the joy of life. Gymnastics teacher Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen) stands still and pleads for younger, calmer children who hate exercise as much as you might think. The father of three, Nicholas, comes back to play with his children, not only crying over the sleep deprivation they cause. Music teacher Peter recorded his choir for a song… …everything seems to be going well…
Samuel Goldwyn Films
to the end?
(This means another one in Danish. Don’t tell me you’re not learning anything here.)
The boys are of course impatiently waiting for the results of their experiment. And like many of those who have unfortunate tattoos and scars, they decide to go all the way with a drink. If 0.05% works, why don’t you try 0.06%? Or 0.12%? It’s clearly not a good idea without spoilers.
But this is precisely where the famous writer/director Thomas Winterberg gets the highest marks. If this device had been used in Hollywood, you could see it goes both ways. Either middle-aged comedians do fraternal things, or a fairy tale about moral drinking is bad, chaining themselves to Leaving Vegas, or, God forbid, 28 days of nightmares.
Winterberg wisely tries not to go into the morality and preserve the reality of these characters. This also applies to all those largely inexperienced actors who play school children, who are pleasantly naturalistic in everything.
Supervisory authorities during the year
Bo Larsen and Mikkelsen had already worked with Winterberg, at festivals and at The Hunt (no, not the good ones in Denmark) to get recognition. Here they won gold again, and it’s no wonder that one of the three later won the prizes at home. Another round is Denmark’s official selection for Best International Feature Film, and the Academy could have done much worse.
Mads Mikkelsen paints a dazzling picture of Martin being more than worthy of his star performance. He moves between sadness and joy, love and anger with an elegance that he also shows in a surprisingly beautiful dance scene. For a 50-year-old man, he has characteristics.
All four presenters give powerful performances, and Maria Bonnevi is present as Martin Anika’s wife. The relationship between Bonnevi and Mikkelsen forms the emotional basis of the film and that is where the most interesting ideas are born. While Mikkelsen’s character is going through a midlife crisis, Anika has to move on. The family can’t allow both parents to call. Martin may be back in the game, but isn’t it too late? Is it possible to go back to the way you were? Is that what you want? If one of you has moved on, should the other expect his partner to wait until he catches up?
After all, the problems that occurred had nothing to do with a lack of alcohol, so alcohol will only be the solution in the literal chemical sense of the word.
Winterberg and his fellow screenwriter Tobias Lindholm, who has already worked on the films Hunt and Submarine, do an exemplary job and bring all the wires together in a moving and stimulating ending. Relationships unfold in a fascinating way, without falling into melodrama or touching the answers. I raise my glasses to everyone who has participated in this great, peaceful film.
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