Another Round, directed by Thomas Vinterberg and starring Mads Mikkelsen, took me on an emotional roller coaster. I read the brief synopsis about four friends maintaining a constant level of intoxication and expected a drama that would explore the dangers of alcohol Leaving Las Vegas-style. While there are moments that explore the darker side of alcohol, I was surprised to find a much more heartwarming, comedic, and life-affirming movie.
Mads Mikkelsen stars as Martin, a depressed history teacher that is slowly losing his family and on the verge of losing his job. He and four of his friends–Tommy (Thomas Bo Laren), Nikolaj (Magnus Millang), and Peter (Lars Ranthe)– decide to keep a constant blood alcohol rate of 0.5%. Martin starts seeing some positive changes in his career. The constant stream of alcohol leaves him more relaxed and able to connect with his students and he begins trying again in his marriage. However, Martin and his friends are so blinded by their bet that they can’t see that their dependency is leaving everyone else out of their lives. The film is mostly shot in close-ups which highlights how everyone else is peripheral to the overall drinking game that Martin and his buddies have concocted. I appreciated that the movie had more to say about alcohol consumption than what we typically get. We do see through the character of Tommy how dependency can be created, and there are moments when it looks like Martin will substitute his depression for alcohol. I enjoyed how the movie portrayed self-medication and how it can lead to self-destruction if one is not careful.
Mads Mikkelsen gives a tremendous performance. He has proven time and time again with movies such as this, The Hunt (2012), and his performance on television as Hannibal Lecter that he is one of the most talented and versatile actors working today. The ending of this film is magnificent, and Mads Mikkelsen’s performance is what makes the film come together in the end.