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Sunday, June 20, 2021

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Film Fridays: "Another Round"

<p><em>Graphic by Carissa Gurgul</em></p>

Graphic by Carissa Gurgul

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.

“Another Round” was a film that was not on my radar. I stumbled upon it when I saw it was popular on iTunes and noticed “Hannibal” star Mads Mikkelsen was the lead, which immediately intrigued me. 

Going in knowing nothing, I was shocked to watch this story unfold. “Another Round” is my favorite film of 2020.

For starters, Mikkelsen gives a career-best performance. It is a shame he did not get a best actor Academy Award nomination. On the other hand, director Thomas Vinterberg did receive a nomination for best director, my personal favorite nominee.

“Another Round” follows four friends who work at a high school in Copenhagen. Bored with their lives, the four lost souls decide to undergo an experiment based on a theory by psychiatrist Finn Skarderud.

Skardenud theorized that humans are born with a blood alcohol level that is 0.05% too low. As a result, the four teachers decide to sustain a BAC level of 0.05 daily and soon find that their teaching skills improve and their overall happiness hits an all-time high.

The group soon decides to increase their daily BAC limit as the experiment goes on and what unfolds is something special. 

The premise may sound silly, but it goes much deeper than one might think. Vinterberg expertly examines alcoholism and the lengths one might take to achieve what they believe is true happiness.

The four main actors have phenomenal chemistry, and it seemed like they had been friends forever. Funny enough, the actors would gather together before filming and rehearse how to talk and walk on different levels of alcohol.

“Another Round” kept me on the edge of my seat, because I had no idea what direction it would take, and I will say it has the best final scene of any movie I have seen in years. The film is in Danish and Swedish with subtitles, which I hope will not turn viewers away, because it is so easy to engage from the minute the film starts.

Vinterberg dedicated the film to his daughter, Ida, who tragically passed away in a car accident four days into filming. She helped her father create the story when it was in its beginning stages as a play.

Ida was originally set to play Mikkelsen’s daughter and inspired her father by telling him stories about the drinking culture within the Danish youth. The film even opens with youths engaging in a drinking competition to showcase the sheer encouragement and appreciation of this culture in Copenhagen.

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“Another Round” is a hidden gem that is deserving of attention. It flew too under the radar, and I encourage anyone to seek it out.

“Another Round” is now streaming on Hulu.

Contact columnist Miles Goldman at miles.goldman@richmond.edu.

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