Another Round

Another Round ★★★★½

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Why did no one tell me Another Round was this good? I am clearly joking, as this is why I love Letterboxd. So many have been praising this film, and I knew it would be releasing in December, otherwise I would have been emailing left and right for a screener. What I realize now is that this film should have been at the top of my priority list. The craziest part is the fact that I do not even drink all that often. I didn’t know if it would resonate with me on the level that it needed it to. What we get with this film is a showcase of struggle, addiction, and (oddly enough) friendship. The premise itself is thought-provoking. Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood. 

The theory is that man is born with “half a per mille” too little. They describe alcohol in the blood opening up the mind to the outside world. This opens up creativity and makes our problems seem just a bit smaller. Mads Mikkelsen plays Martin who is facing his fair share of problems, and while they seem smaller at first, these inner demons slowly reveal themselves over the course of the film. Thus we have our film about a bunch of friends spending their days maintaining a constant alcohol impact in everyday life. This simultaneously solves and creates problems for our group, and while some of these issues are subtle, the emotional impact is there. The story progression is interesting because you have absolutely no idea what to expect, and you are completely swept away by the characters. Mads is the standout, and it is absurd that his name isn’t floating around more for an Oscar nomination.

Again, this is a theory that is tested, and results are being generated. It all comes down to how consequential their actions are. To make things worse, they are educators, and Martin is extremely unsure of his role at that point. You see stories like this, and they can either inspire you or upset you. Another Round may not be subtle about its message, but it amplifies this in a way that will leave you almost speechless. This film completely wraps you up in its progression, and what seems like a slow character-Drama on the outside turns into this cathartic experience by the end. It may even be too slow at times, and that hurts it, but all is made better by this final scene. The final scene of this film is my favorite scene of the year. There will be no explanation as to why because I believe it speaks for itself (and that plot point is a spoiler). Another Round (emotionally) knocked me down, forced me to think about life in a different way, and had me smiling from ear to ear. What a life indeed.

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