Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang, Lars Ranthe
There are films about alcohol that tend to take a negative stance on it (Leaving Las Vegas, The Lost Weekend, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot). And then there are films about alcohol that take a more positive approach, that look at a rather universal culture around getting smashed, and how this particular drink affects our lives. And perhaps Another Round has its own qualms about excessive alcohol intake, but it surprisingly shows the joys of alcohol and its rich, invigorating spirit.
A group of four men, led by Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), decide to embark on a psychological experiment, which involves them keeping up their alcohol intake over 0.05 BAC at all times, except after 8pm and on weekends. These men, all in their own working capacities, seem to immediately enjoy this experiment – and who wouldn’t?
But the decision to up their intake, basically to the point of them getting smashed all day, starts to really affect their lives. This voluntary alcoholism ultimately has its downsides, but these men still recognise the positive effects alcohol has. Of course, it’s used just to have fun, but in one instance in the film, could be used a cure for exam related anxiety (of course recommended by the teacher of this group).
There’s perhaps the lingering feeling that this isn’t quite enough to be learned from this experiment – if you drink a moderate amount all day, you’ll feel quite pleasant and loose, but if you’re getting smashed, that can cause all sorts of problems. This simplicity seems to be what the experiment concludes with. But there’s no denying the power of the drink, and its association with wild, fun, uncaring celebration in more than a few cultures in our world.
The final scene with Martin drinking, dancing, and taking in this joy of life shows how it’s this particular thing in life that squashes down inhibitions. Perhaps for the sober people out there, that particular thing can be something else, since Another Round is only about alcohol on a surface level, but is really about each of us finding that thing that brings out a better you (as long as it’s in moderation).
Another Round plays at UWA’s Somerville Auditorium from Monday, December 28 to Sunday, January 3. For more information and to buy tickets head to perthfestival.com.au