Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Magnus Millang, Lars Ranthe, Thomas Larsen
I could spend this entire review talking about the greatness that is Mads …and I will, because, my god, he’s the best. I don’t have time to write down every film that he has been amazing in, but it doesn’t matter if it’s Danish, American, sci-fi, western, he’s always incredible, always fully invested, and there is literally no one like him. You could do worse than watching his entire career, ignoring all other movies, just keeping an eye on Mads as the years roll by and he does more thrilling work; his talent it that great. Needless to say, Another Round is just another treat, this time with an ensemble cast and an instant classic feel that makes the entire project pop with a vibrancy that we too rarely see, from Hollywood or from across the world.
Finding their lives becoming more meaningless, more mundane, and always boring, four friends, who all work at a local school, decide to do something to change their depressing paths. After meeting together for dinner to celebrate a 40th birthday (and much drinking to each other’s health), a bizarre experiment is set in motion; to remain constantly, lightly drunk throughout every weekday, 9-5, in order to see if having a drink will change their outlook on life, make them braver, steady their nerves, allow them to be their true selves. With varying degrees of success, the foursome begins the challenge, learning, amidst drunkenness, just how fragile life can be, and just how enjoyable.
This really isn’t all about one star, the four lead actors here put on quite a show, and they are all worth discussing. I can’t help focus on My Man Mads though, since, gosh, he’s just so great. The amount of emotion he conveys in one look, one smile, one motion, is simply remarkable; for a guy who doesn’t speak loudly he sure shouts. It’s the same with every film in which he appears, he’s just that magical, and he exhibits that magic to perfection in this film. Another Round is clever, it’s honest, it’s unsettling, and it’s lovely, all at once & all the time, taking us on a whirlwind ride that’s very inadvisable but so fucking freeing. The town, the people, the music, the students, the ups & downs, the triumphs and the terrible failures; it’s like Vinterberg decided to tell us the meaning of life using alcohol, and boy did he nail it.
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆