Four friends, all teachers at various stages of middle age, are stuck in a rut. Unable to share their passions either at school or at home, they embark on an audacious experiment from an obscure philosopher: to see if a constant level of alcohol in their blood will help them find greater freedom and happiness. At first, they each find a new-found zest, but as the gang pushes their experiment further, issues that have been simmering for years come to a head, and the men are faced with a choice: reckon with their behavior or continue on the same course.
Another Round is a profoundly engrossing and powerful movie that has an incredible way of whisking you away into these four teachers’ lives. They all feel incredibly real and the story feels so wholesome yet so emotional along the way.
You can watch Thomas Vinterberg’s movie and laugh like there’s no tomorrow. There are plenty of sequences throughout that managed to make me laugh quite hard and for the majority of the movie, I had a smile on my face.
It shows just how wild and zany people can get once they ingest too much alcohol into their system, too. For the first little while, when these teachers conduct their interesting drinking experiment, they find the results to be overwhelmingly positive. Their students tend to not pay a lot of attention and class and goof off instead of actually doing productive work.
Upon having a discussion one night at dinner with his fellow teachers, Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) is told that he doesn’t have enough energy and drive in his life. He feels extremely sluggish and almost like he will let anybody push him around and will simply suck it up. But that’s when his teacher friends come up with their fascinating drinking experiment and test it out the very next day.
And it works in spades for them. Martin is no longer having issues with keeping his students focused – now he gets the students’ attention one-hundred-percent of the time, and even makes his students feel more welcome in the classroom. For a while, the students viewed Martin’s classroom as a terrible place to be. But when he gets his sense of energy and personality back, his students laugh and learn while in the class.
But the movie never hides the fact that this experiment is a dangerous idea and one that probably should not be done because while it may work for you at first, it won’t work all the time. You have to be your own person and you have to find whatever it is that makes you feel alive.
For these guys, it’s alcohol and with that comes a lot of happiness but it also comes with a lot of problems. Vinterberg’s film is masterfully shot and brilliantly told and it’s one that left me feeling quite happy and enthralled. It’s an emotionally charged story about friendship, life, and personal demons that has a lot to say and boy does it ever say it.
Overall Grade: A
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Directed by: Thomas Vinterberg
Distributed by: Nordisk Film
Release Date: September 24, 2020
Running Time: 115 minutes