mon 04/03/2024

Another Round review - delight and despair | reviews, news & interviews

Another Round review - delight and despair

Another Round review - delight and despair

Mads Mikkelsen stars in Thomas Vinterberg’s alcohol-fumed tragicomedy

Mads Mikkelson's bacchanalian revelries put a spring in his step, for a while

You can practically smell the fumes coming off Thomas Vinterbergs latest drama Another Round, known in Denmark simply as "Druk". Co-written with Tobias Lindholm, the story is anchored in a theory proposed by Finn Skårderud that humans have a blood alcohol level that is 0.05 percent too low.

Therefore, to function at our best, we need to top it up. 

Four friends, all teachers at the same school, gather for a 40th birthday. Despite protests, Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) opts for soda and lemon over booze. However, the onslaught of jeers and teasing from his friends finally make Martin cave in to a night of bacchanalian delights. During the revelries, psychology teacher Nikolaj (Magnus Millang), mentions Skårderuds theory, which worms itself into Martins mind. 

Deploying Skårderud’s theory

In the wake of the inevitable hangover, we learn things arent going well for Martin. Hes lost his zest for life, grinding through history lessons in which he regurgitates chunks of history textbooks to glazed-eyed students whose parents are questioning Martins efficacy as a teacher. Martin wonders whether a snifter might help? So, diving into the toilets, he swigs from a bottle of vodka and… voila! Theres immediately a new spring in his step and a more vigorous approach to his teaching. 

Soon enough hes telling his friends about his little experiment. Father of three Nikolaj, the divorcee Tommy, and music teacher Peter, all wonder whether their lives might also be improved with a splash of the good stuff. There are rules however, one of which is inspired by Ernest Hemmingway – that no alcohol is to be consumed after 8pm so that some semblance of order can be maintained. Unsurprisingly, order is not maintained, and the price of living life like an alcoholic comes with consequences ranging from lost careers to crumbling marriages.

Theres no denying that Another Round is incredibly enjoyable to watch. In true method acting style, the cast even got pleasantly merry before Vinterberg cried "action", in order to give a degree of authenticity to their performances. Mikkelsen is particularly good, proving that, even when soused in booze, his acting skills remain top-notch. But then again, Oliver Reed made a career of it. 

As the credits roll you’re left with the same hazy feeling that spending the night at your local produces. Vinterberg humorously points fun at any po-faced attitudes towards drinking, but whether he’s making any serious points about our relationship to booze remains fuzzy. Its obvious that deciding to spend your days drunk isnt going to work out well. Likewise, few will disagree that drinking alcohol isnt inherently bad. Still, Another Round is a riot, with yet another great performance from Mikkelsen. 

Mikkelsen proves that even when soused in booze, his acting skills remain top-notch


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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