Film Review: Another Round
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, Lars Ranthe, Maria Bonnevie, Helene Reingaard, Magnus Sjørup, Silas Cornelius Van and Albert Rudbeck Lindhardt
Running Time: 117
Australian Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment
Another Round follows Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), a dull teacher stuck in the doldrums of a midlife crisis. His wife can barely stand him, he has a distant dynamic to his kids, and his lengthy lectures fail to incite much interest from his students. While attending a birthday dinner with his teacher friends (played respectively by Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, and Magnus Millang), the group decide to embrace a new pact: to consume enough alcohol to operate daily at .05 BAC.
The initial results display newfound confidence for the four, while also reflecting the inherent dangers behind their newfound lifestyle. This description may leave some blueprinting the upcoming narrative beats, yet director Vinterberg never settles for simplistic truths. The character’s journey isn’t a steady rise and fall, rather blending the liberation and stunted inhibitions that booze imbues into their mindsets.
While the second half offers a few searing dramatic frames, much of Another Round indulges in a deftly humorous sensibility, often having fun with the character’s extreme dedication to their pact. All of this set-up builds up to a masterfully unhinged finale, one that leaves an unforgettable impression with its creative verve.
It helps that Another Round‘s material is elevated by a superb cast. One must admire Mads Mikkelsen, an actor who continues to evolve while rarely getting the credit he deserves. Here, he refreshingly plays against type as a nebbish school teacher, portraying middle age milieu with the kind of depth and subdued emotionality he always imbues into his characters. Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, and Magnus Millang are equally as assured in their performances, selling the quartet’s strong comradery while handling the film’s delicate tonal balance.
Another Round has a really good balance of comedy and drama. The themes are very universal and not overly dark, but it does get heavy, and that’s what sets this above what seems like a comedy about drinking. It’s more accurately a drama about trying to balance the pleasures in life to keep life pleasurable. It’s little wonder that the film has been nominated for a Golden Globe and for an Oscar as Best International Film.
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