Another Round

Another Round ★★★★½

In 2012 Thomas Vinterburg and Mads Mikkelsen brought us the haunting drama The Hunt. Their reunion yields a work that is entirely different but no less impactful. Another Round begins as a deliriously entertaining view of four men trying to fight their ensuing mid-life crisis, and gradually descends into a dark exploration of addiction and depression. But Vinterburg’s genius is how he rarely presents these tonal switches in a binary manner. The same qualities that make Another Round so euphoric are what ultimately give way to its sinister implications, intertwined and interweaving as its characters drink themselves to destruction.

It ties into what Vinterburg said he wanted to explore through the film. Our society’s own love/hate relationship with alcohol, simultaneously romanticising and demonising its effect, celebrating and condemning, never quite knowing when enough is enough and only recognising the damage done in hindsight. Another Round stays true to this strange contradictory tone right down to its mesmerising final scene. It’s a finale that sweeps the viewer up in its exhilaration even as it may represent the characters falling back into their self-destructive spiral.

Mikkelson has a gift for portraying people whose innermost motives always feel slightly hidden, whilst never feeling overly distant in his performance. We never fully understand what Martin is searching for or what exactly he wants to escape from, but his desperate yearning to get something else out of life is as engaging as it is startling. Vinterburg knows exactly how to frame his lead, and utilises the camera to place us directly in his state of mind. Whether that state of mind is existential angst, joyous dance or drunk out of his mind. It’s quite simply intoxicating.

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