Another Round Review – BFI London Film Festival 2020
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, and Lars Ranthe
Another Round reunites the award-winning team behind the 2012 Oscar-nominated Danish drama, The Hunt.
Director Thomas Vinterberg, writer Tobias Lindholm and leading man Mads Mikkelsen have proven themselves as a triple threat before so will their collaborative efforts here be worthy of popping the celebratory champagne once more?
Well pull up a stool, pour yourself a pint and let’s find out.
Their new drama sees Mikkelsen play a middle-aged history teacher going through the motions both in the classroom and at home.
That is until he and three of his fellow teachers decide to test a theory that maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their system will enhance their productivity at work.
What could possibly go wrong?
It’s impressive that Lindholm has been able to write this screenplay in such a way that its premise of four work colleagues getting drunk on the job doesn’t seem completely ludicrous.
It makes sense for the characters and their respective situations, and Lindholm creates believable motivations for these four teachers to explore such an absurd theory.
The cast of the film go a long way in taking Lindholm’s script and making it work.
The four main actors excel as this group of colleagues, especially coming to life after the drinks have been flowing for a couple of rounds.
As you might expect in a narrative focused on four friends experimenting with alcohol there is a steady stream of humour on tap.
For those viewers who like a drink themselves the drunken antics of the characters here will no doubt be relatable and deliver an abundance of laughs as a result.
With a premise like this, it would have been tempting to just descend into cheap gags or overdo the drunken comedy to the point of excess.
Thankfully the dosage of this comedy is well measured and always makes sense within the narrative, never damaging the quality of the film.
One Too Many
Another Round is an undoubtedly funny film, but it never uses its comedy at the expense of the drama, Lindholm finds the perfect balance for both to coexist and complement each other.
However, the film would have been naïve, even irresponsible, to neglect to explore the negative side of alcohol as well.
Subsequently, the film makes sure to give a well-rounded insight into this subject and elevates its drama in doing so, highlighting the very unfunny effects of this substance.
It examines the addictive nature of alcohol and the dangerous effects it can have when combined with mental illness.
The depth of this exploration means that the two-hour running time never feels like a stretch and is well earned, never letting the film overstay its welcome.
Read more: Time Review – BFI London Film Festival 2020
Vinterberg’s film is paced wonderfully, leading up to an all drinking, all-dancing finale set to Scarlet Pleasure’s What a Life that you may have heard in the film’s trailer.
It’s here where the film delivers its most memorable moments and the performances of the cast prove the most entertaining.
However, the entirety of the film is a real treat; it’s like celluloid champagne that fizzes and pops in all the right places.
Set to be a vintage classic, Another Round is well worth cracking into with your cinematic corkscrew.
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