Another Round

#Review: Another Round

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Another Round is a film by director Thomas Vinterberg. The film stars Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, and Lars Ranthe.

The film follows four friends who test a theory about maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood. This is believed will improve their lives socially and professionally. At first, everything seems fine. They become more engaged with their students at the school they all teach at, Martin (Mikkelsen) in particular finds that he’s connecting better with his family also.

However as they push the boundaries of what they can achieve with high levels of alcohol in their blood their lives begin to spiral and you’re not sure if they’ll catch themselves before it’s too late.

Another round, please

Another Round is a fascinating film. I found the stories of each character compelling and their performances added to the quality of their all too human plight.

As I stated Martin is almost ghostlike in his family life, Peter is a man hoping to make a proper impact on these kids lives and Nikolaj is struggling with his young family. These use this experiment as a way to help Martin build up his lost self-confidence, but they use it themselves for various reasons.

The film focuses on Martin but Tommy (Bo Larsen) for me was a surprising figure that I was drawn to. Unlike the other characters, Tommy seems to only have his dog in his life and once the experiment begins he takes to it like a fish to water and watching his descent is particularly moving.

An element I was surprised about this film and Denmark (the country this is set in) is how relaxed the relationship with alcohol is to the general public. I say this as an Irish citizen. I couldn’t believe how natural it was as the film opens showing the high school students playing an intense drinking game. I took this scene as showcasing how much fun they are having while still having their whole lives ahead of them. Meanwhile you have the cast trying to utilise alcohol to rejuvenate their spirits.

There is a moment where everything seems grand and everything is right with the world and then the film takes the clichéd turn. You can see it coming from the second the theory is mentioned. Thankfully though director Vinterberg and his cast elevate the film above this cliché.

Another Round

Let’s change gears

I don’t want to wallow in the dirt though because Another Round doesn’t do that. It tells these human stories with all their baggage but there is an air of revelry. For example, when the lads do go out and have fun together there is a true sense of comradery. The rapport between them is genuine.

As well as that is the cinematography and score which perfectly encapsulates the mood of each moment in the scene. The intimate scenes are warm and draw you further into the film. The score doesn’t telegraph everything and hit you over the head with how you should be feeling but it definitely enhances the experience of watching Another Round.

What a life

Another Round is a tough film to quantify and to stick in one particular genre and I mean that as the highest compliment.

I highly recommend when you get the chance be sure and sit down, relax and watch Another Round.

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