Thomas Vinterberg is the writer-director of Another Round. This isn’t the first time he’s worked with actor Mads Mikkelsen. He previously directed him in The Hunt in 2012. That said, the two films are very different from one another.
Four high school teachers who are also close friends decide to conduct an experiment. They want to see how much alcohol they can consume while also being productive at their jobs and still be good fathers and husbands. This made for an intriguing premise, to say the least.
These four men have been leading good lives, but they have fallen into routines and things that have made them complacent. They hope the experiment will bring excitement back into their lives. It works on some levels, but it also fails on others. Drinking never solves a person’s problems. Coming from a person who tried, I know!
Drinking all the time is like a black hole. Once a person starts down that path, experiment or not, it’s a dead-end road. My father and myself have both been alcoholics. I am seven years sober and my father hasn’t had a drink in 40 years. He was never a good father to me or my siblings while he was drinking away all of his money. We never had a good childhood because of this. I took over from him at 21 and was on that downward spiral for 20 years myself until I gave up drinking 7 years ago. It was the best decision of my life.
As in the film, one drink leads to another and another, and before you know it, you’re drinking until you pass out on someone’s lawn or in my experience, on the lawn of a church. Yeah, maybe your buddies want to hang out after a game or while watching sports on television. It’s cool! But soon, having fun turns into fighting or arguing or later on vomiting all over yourself and or others.
As these guys found out, drinking all the time can cost you your job or relationship. The same goes in real life as well. Not being able to wake up after a heavy night of drinking for work can start to pay a toll. Starting to feel distant from your wife and or girlfriend is a regular occurrence for alcoholics. There is just no winning in life while doing this. Sure there are functioning alcoholics. It’s not an easy life to live through, as I can attest.
Another Round puts the nature and cost of alcoholism on the front line of pop culture. Sure, other countries might find the subject matter fine. They have drinking ages that are different than in America. They probably don’t have the DUI levels America has either. Some states don’t allow people to get licenses if they get DUI, but others do. Without a license, you can do a lot of things in this country. An ID is required for quite a bit of job and so forth.
This film puts the microscope on a debilitating disease. It’s the cost of people’s lives and their family’s lives. The penalty cost for everyone involved. Vinterberg got this perfectly in the film. This film is one of the best of the year. Hopefully, it’ll teach a lot of people some lessons. I had to learn the hard way, but it would be nice if others don’t have to.
Dan Skip Allen
Sean BoelmanFounder/Lead Criticdisappointment mediaShow