Another Round tests the waters of those in professional positions that are expected to maintain boundaries. Director Thomas Vinterberg transforms the Mads Mikkelsen we know from a framed predator in The Hunt (2012) to a hard-partying, satirical teacher. Another Round is a masterpiece due to how it portrays the radical behaviors as they begin and start to grow. As Mikkelsen consumes ridiculous amounts of alcohol, the laughs created are memorable. Another Round was set to be in the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. If the festival had run, Another Round would have had its audience from across the world soaring with joy.
Another Round introduces us to four friends; Martin (Mikkelsen), Tommy (played by Thomas Bo Larsen), Nikolaj (played by Magnus Millang), and Peter (played by Lars Ranthe). All are teachers and colleagues at a Gymnasium (i.e. school) in Copenhagen, Denmark, and are at a breaking point due to facing a mid-life crisis. Then, however, they come across a discovery that having a low percent of alcohol in one’s system can lead to relaxation and creativity. This prompts them all to begin drinking consistently, testing their alcohol intake with breathalyzer tests, and living their lives to the fullest in many irresponsible and irreparable ways. As a result, disputes begin to build, and jobs are on the line. Their increased alcohol consumption makes them feel that the party will never stop for them.
The brilliance of Another Round is how the humorous moments are also the serious moments. It is in those scenes where I found myself laughing hard, but also wondering where things are headed. The friends find theories of motivation to drink and to feel they are not in the wrong to do what they are doing. They link their decisions to connect with historical events, like Winston Churchill and World War II, which then leads them to believe their success as teachers can be impacted positively by consuming alcohol before work. Another Round is spellbinding, because what they are doing is wrong, yet it is causing them to achieve more despite making the terrible choices as teachers.
There are some clever, unexpected twists in Another Round. While I anticipated this film to be almost like The Hangover (2009), it is different in that the party goes on for days as do the consequences. The teachers’ motivation to keep drinking comes from what the friends think they know about their profession and history. Watching their antics kept me laughing out loud throughout the movie.
Another Round is one of those rare masterpiece films that is hard to come by. Not surprisingly, Vinterberg is one of those auteur directors with foreign films that earn tons of buzz throughout the globe. Another Round may be one of the best films I have seen him release. His clever mind paired with his ability to have actors deliver unexpected punch lines is what makes the film a pure joy. Another Round is worth the time and can be found on Music Box at Home. Four stars.