Gary Cruise’s review published on Letterboxd:
BFI London Film Festival 2020
Another Round is a drama following four friends, all high school teachers, who test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood.
This film’s premise might be easy to mistake for that of a comedy film but, although there are moments of humour here and there, this is far from a comedy and is actually a very serious and thought provoking film. Another Round takes this concept and executes it perfectly, in turn, becoming one of this year’s biggest surprises. It has a lot to say, throughout so much of this film we’re seeing people like these characters more because they’re always under the influence of alcohol and essentially it’s like they’re taking on a different personality.
At times it’s easy to question what the film’s views are on using alcohol to be more likeable but then just when you start to question that, it raises other questions to combat said theory. It’s actually quite intense at times as the worry of this experiment going wrong and these character descending into alcoholism is always underlying and it’s like you’re just waiting for it to happen which adds such a dark tone to the film. But that’s what the film does so well, it makes you feel for these characters and not even just the main four characters, even some of the side characters too.
There’s so much well written character development even when you least expect it and that really makes for a very captivating film. The entire cast do such a fantastic job too but it’s Mads Mikkelsen who is often the biggest scene stealer in his role as Martin. Mikkelsen puts so much heart into this performance which adds so much realism and emotion to this character. Every second of his screen time is so convincing and it’s easy to feel attached to his character because of this. This is definitely up there as one of the best performances of the year. It’s a very well shot film too with some superb cinematography that makes the film feel so close and intimate during some of it’s more effective moments.
Overall, Another Round genuinely surprised me. It took a premise that I thought may have been played for laughs and instead provided an emotionally powerful journey into four well written character’s lives and this crazy experiment that could go one of two ways. It’s a magnificent piece of filmmaking and contains a truly outstanding performance from Mikkelsen.
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