Another Round

Another Round ★★★★

Another Round is an absurdist comedy playing with people's lives and livelihoods, actively participating in theory crafting - subscribing to the obscure ideology of living wasted. Even in this obscurity, Thomas Vinterberg's smart and devilishly curious script grounds the film in real-world consequences. It's also the best Mads Mikkelsen has ever been - absolutely superb, both in his joy of discovery, the change in his character, and the destruction his actions have caused, leading to the BRILLIANTLY targic and ultimately cathartic ending and a moment that will live in the annals of film history. Without going into too much detail, it's all the pent up chaotic energy released in one magnificent dance.

The story supposes the theory that humanity's blood alcohol level is 0.5% BAC too low at all times, and if we all lived as high-functioning alcoholics that our inhibitions and anxiety would cease to exist. Four teachers (Mads, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, and Lars Ranthe) put this into practice with varying results, exhibiting the telltale signs of alcoholism but they used it as a mental excuse to allow all this to happen. Now despite the incredible, unforgettable high points, the low points are dire and life-changing. In fact, the change in the characters behavior were captured beautifully by the ensemble and in the script, all crying out for help and not recognizing it as such before it's too latr. We see this in how the idea has serious appeal despite the lunacy and consequences behind it. And unfortunately, the result is a devastating and sobering reminder that alcohol can destroy life.

Another Round is filled with a wide range of emotions, continually reminding us of the world around these teachers, even if we want to get wrapped up in their delusions and embrace the positives of their experiment. Moments of real happiness are sparse and is always followed by suffering from this lifestyle. With exciting performances (MADS), intelligent writing, and a uniquely tuned story that gave me a lot to digest - it's an excellent fresh take with surprisingly empathetic portrayals.

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