Alcohol, that sweet nectar that somehow provides us with the best and the worst of times in our lives. There have been multiple, fairly competent portrayals of alcoholism in cinema, all of which veer on the side of tragedy, but Thomas Vinterberg's latest offering, Another Round, showcases just how liberating it can be to be a little tipsy and what happens when it slips out of control.
Mads Mikkelsen plays Martin, a school teacher who has hit a rut. He is sensible, but boring and so are his friends Tommy, Nikolaj and Peter. The four men decide to test out a theory that states that humans would be much more liberated and relaxed if their blood alcohol volume was a sensible 0.05. Their innocent experiment starts off well enough, but soon enough starts affecting both their work and respective families.
Another Round could have been, and perhaps at times is, a film about the dangers and all-consuming, destructive power of booze. It's true, alcohol has ruined many lives and broken up families, but Another Round never becomes preachy or predictable. Instead, it handles the men's crises with maturity and style. This isn't a film about alcohol; Another Round tries to provide us with an honest look into a mid-life crisis and how debilitating and devastating it can become. There is one scene that is tragic in all its quietness and shows just how easily and quickly alcohol goes from fun to dangerous.
Mikkelsen turns in yet another magnetic performance as the everyman who has lost his lust for life. Martin, and the others, find their groove once they start consuming alcohol on a daily basis but the film shows just how quickly the liquor starts controlling you. Vinterberg's film is underlined with hardship and woe, like most films about alcohol must be by design. But it never forces the audience to care, only asking you to consider the consequences of allowing such a substance to alter your brain chemistry.
The film's final scene has already become infamous and it's unlikely we'll see another scene, or indeed, another film so full of joy and life as the final 5 minutes of Another Round. Featuring an electric performance from Mads Mikkelsen and directed with confidence and style by Vinterberg, Another Round is a future classic of Danish cinema as well as a crowd-pleasing dramedy about the effects of alcohol.
ANOTHER ROUND is released on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital on 27th September 2021.