Star Rating:

Another Round

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Actors: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang

Release Date: Friday 2nd July 2021

Genre(s): Drama

Running time: 117 minutes

In this Danish language dramedy, which won the Academy Award for Best International Feature at this year’s Oscars, a group of four friends (played by Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe and Magnus Millang) who work at the same school in Copenhagen, decide to reinvigorate their lives through experimenting with a theory that states that having a constant blood alcohol content of 0.05 makes you more creative, courageous and relaxed.

Their social and professional lives see a shift almost immediately as their otherwise detached and uninterested students love their new more spontaneous style of teaching. Their family lives also start to see a change.

‘Another Round’ frequently and dramatically shifts from being very dark to very funny, keeping its audience consistently invested and on their toes. There’s a great exploration of male camaraderie as scenes of the four men drinking, chatting and play fighting together often feature.

There’s a tricky balance required with their experiment, and an ecstasy and humour to the drunken scenes, even if there’s also a niggling at back of your mind that the joy and excitement won't last. They drink not just during work hours but in the evening and at the weekends too, with the results not just being their jobs improving, but their families finding them far more interesting and personable.

Martin (Mikkelsen), initially depressed, finds he is happy with this lifestyle, but his wife Anika (Maria Bonnevie), who he already has a strained relationship, is suspicious. Martin is the one that really instigates the experiment, inspiring his friends to follow suit, starting with drinking at work, but later he is most in doubt about its benefits.

The four friends keep talking about drinking while they’re drinking, and alcohol starts to pop up in the advice they offer as well as lessons they teach. The third act sees all the men start to come apart, giving into the brutal hold of alcoholism. This movie could well end up striking a chord with Irish audiences in particular given our own relationship to alcohol, as it grapples with some fascinating ideas while still maintaining a sharp comedic edginess. The final scene (gestured at in a number of the promo images for ‘Another Round’) is movie magic.