Vinterberg and Lindholm take a substantive look at substance abuse, placing it in character context and avoiding dramatic hysterics. Another Round is a film of more quiet desperation and a more thoughtful morality, and it goes down with a kick.
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Thomas Vinterberg’s latest, like The Hunt, is ultimately a parable about breaking a social contract.
It’s a sweet, strangely modest tragicomedy about the pleasures of (mostly banal) excess.
Another Round (Druk) is a funny film which is also desperately sad, a superficially amusing indictment of drinking culture which is much more bitter than sweet.
Vinterberg’s ending offers an unlikely sense of catharsis, even though it isn’t truly happy, turning the film into something fresh and affecting. On top of all that, the film provides the opportunity to watch Mikkelsen give perhaps his best performance yet.
Mikkelsen has become perhaps Denmark’s most familiar face Stateside over the past decade. But he still feels most in his skin in roles like these, and in Round’s final ecstatic scene, the actor does what only true stars seem able to: Take the silly or messy or improbable, and make it fly.
There are not “funny” moments or “dramatic” moments for their characters; there are simply “human” moments. Whether people react to them with laughter, pity or some combination of them both may say more about themselves than the film.
Another Round is the kind of movie that’s so into its cool concept that it doesn’t sweat the details. Yet the film’s sloppy broadness ends up fighting the Dogme style, which keeps telling us that these people are authentic.
The performances are persuasive and watchable, especially Mikkelsen, the guys’ alpha-leader, who ruinously makes being drunk look pretty acceptable until it is too late.
Another Round ultimately has little fresh or profound to say about intoxication and addiction, but it is an engaging tribute to friendship, family and bacchanalian hedonism in moderation.