Another Round

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Writer: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm

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

Producers: Kasper Dissing, Sisse Graum Jørgensen

Music: Scarlet Pleasure (title theme)

Cinematography: Sturla Brandth Grøvlen

Editor: Janus Billeskov Jansen, Anne Østerud

Cert: 12

Running time: 115mins

Year: 2020

What’s the story: To bring teacher Martin (Mikkelsen) out of a mid-life funk, his friend and colleague Nikolaj (Millang) suggests they and two other mates test a theory that regular alcohol consumption will make them happier high achievers.

What’s the verdict: Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round resembles one of those night outs you know should be great, but isn’t quite clicking.

Better drinking buddies you couldn’t wish for. Frequent Vinterberg collaborator Mikkelsen brings his usual A-game as Martin, a disillusioned history teacher who saw marriage, kids and contentment derail an illustrious academic career.

Mikkelsen is ably supported by Millang, Larsen and Ranthe as fellow teachers also looking to add spice (and a full Bloody Mary) back into their lives.

The plan for this great night on the sauce is solid. To test psychotherapist Finn Skarderud’s theory that humans are born with a 0.5% blood alcohol deficiency, and that correcting that will allow for a better functioning society. Then onto their own theory that if a little booze works wonders, they will become supermen when doubling (and tripling) down on the sauce, right?

But, when the drinking starts Another Round does not surprise the way a top night out should. Vinterberg and co-writer Tobias Lindholm memorably collaborated on 2016’s The Commune and 2012’s Oscar nominated The Hunt (which also starred Mikkelsen). But here they tread a predictable path.

So we have the initial high as the experiment seems to work. Martin reconnects with his near-estranged wife (Bonnevie) and classrooms become hotbeds of Dead Poets Society level inspiration.  Then into darker territory as experimentation turns to dependency, with a tragedy as predictable as a killer hangover the morning after tying one on.

Vinterberg has the classic nightmare comedy Festen to his credit and Lindholm is responsible for movies such as A Hijacking and A War. So you know the session will be classy and witty, with shining moments. Most notably when Mikkelsen busts out his ballet dance moves.

But, what lingers is the feeling that Another Round falls short of great men-in-crisis or rebellion movies such as The Idiots, Fight Club or indeed Office Space. Not enough to leave anyone queasy, but you do wish the hooch on offer was of a slightly higher calibre.  

Rob Daniel
Twitter: rob_a_Daniel
iTunes Podcast: The Movie Robcast


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