Another Round ★★★★

In Another Round, four teachers and friends stuck in a rut decide to put in practice an experiment and spice up their lives with alcohol. They initially find dizzying liberation and regain the enthusiasm they’d lost with age, but they soon find out that every night of drunken partying is followed by a brutal hangover. Once they decide to take their experiment to new heights, their discovery turns against them and they are forced to face the consequences.

Another Round offers a rounded perspective on alcoholism. It doesn’t encourage drinking on the job in an attempt to create a fun buddy comedy, nor does it try to teach that a life of abstinence is the way – it chooses to look at moderation instead. Alcohol can be great in small doses and in an appropriate setting. After loss and hardship, the teachers reconcile and learn to live with both alcohol and their failure. In one of this year’s most cathartic moments, the film recreates the liberation of the experiment’s beginning, but shows its characters as wiser. This isn’t the carelessness that pushed them further down; it’s a moment of carefreeness after which they will return to reality.

Another Round is itself partly a moment of carefreeness. It’s a film that doesn’t take the core issues of its drama lightly, but finds the right balance between the harrowing consequences faced by its central characters and Mads Mikkelsen dancing and swinging into the sea. Its easy-going attitude is there to offer a light buzz, but it never takes the spotlight away from the consequences of going overboard.

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