Booze and Existentialism in “Another Round”
Mads Mikkelsen could possibly stir up an Oscar nomination in this Danish Comedy.
Thomas Vinterberg, an underrated foreign film director, came out with “The Hunt” in 2012 that starred Mads Mikkelsen and shocked audiences everywhere with its plot. Now in 2020, Vinterberg aims to shake things up a bit with this year’s “Another Round,” which takes place in Denmark and features a couple of teachers that take their experiments a bit too far.
Martin — played by Mads Mikkelsen — is an old, boring history teacher. His three colleagues are also teachers who are getting to the point where they are, more or less, letting themselves go. One night at a dinner party, one of these colleagues named Peter — played by Lars Ranthe — proposed the theory that people are born with .5% less alcohol in their bloodstream.
At .5% people are their true selves. A less worrisome and more jovial overall better version of themselves. Thus, they start a documented experiment in which they day drink and see if anything is different that, at first, works. But this leads them to question what happens when you want to take the experience above and beyond.
At the heart of the film you have what is essentially a PSA warning people about the dangers of alcoholism. However, this film takes an interesting twist and shows how a little bit of fun and alcohol is okay. In doing so, it avoids coming off as preachy or talking down to the viewer and instead simply shows a realistic depiction of what could happen.
Although the film is labeled as a comedy, I view it as more of a dark comedy considering some of the fairly dark moments that I couldn’t discern if they were supposed to be funny or not. Overall, the humor itself is dry and cynical, which might not sit well with some audiences.
Nevertheless, the film makes up for it with its very interesting plot that fuels despair and unpredictability around every corner. As the movie progresses, the feeling only increases as each plot point gets more and more absurd.
Mads Mikkelsen provides a stunning performance as Martin. You can feel what his character is going through in each scene. Especially in the more emotional moments where Martin doesn’t know the direction his life is headed in. The way that he is able to switch from sad to defiant is seamless as well as allusive to a man going through a midlife crisis.
Mikkelsen also takes up the most screen time out of all the other great characters in the movie, which I would have liked to see more of. The film doesn’t provide much backstory on the others, which could have increased the emotional value of some of the scenes if more time had been spent doing so.
“Another Round” is a critique on the alcoholism culture in Denmark that doesn’t come off preachy due to its absurd and interesting plot. If you’ve been meaning to check out more international films, then “Another Round” certainly won’t disappoint you.
Availability : Available to rent or buy on Amazon now
Title: Another Round
Star Rating: Four out of five stars
- Theme isn’t preachy
- Very well casted and acted
- Interesting and engaging plot
- Not very ‘comedic’
- Some of the characters lack purpose and backstory