Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Free Fall aka Freier Fall

Marc seems to have it all. Bettina his pregnant girlfriend adores him, he has a new house adjoining his parents and he is following in his father’s footsteps by training to be part of an elite Police Squad in his home town in Germany.  The only wee problem is a that he is not a good runner, and so he takes up an offer from Kay a fellow cadet at the Academy to train together, but it turns out that Kay has much more than jogging on his mind.
 
An angry Marc rebuffs Kay’s clumsy attempt to kiss him but it obviously stirs something in the father-to-be who soon connives to go back to running in the forest again, and this time he returns the kisses and allows Kay to go further. It’s not just the possibility of man on man action that Kay is introducing to a very confused and uptight Marc, but he also gets the newbie exhilarated by smoking pot and breaking the rules around the campus and completely acting out of character.
 
The running soon becomes a cover for the two men to meet up and now that Marc has dropped all pretense of not being interested, the two men are soon embroiled in a very physical affair.  After each encounter a guilt ridden Marc sneaks off back home to face an increasingly suspicious girlfriend and although initially he can keep her happy in bed too, that proves too difficult for him when he finds he simply cannot get enough of his clandestine romps with Kay.
 

Things start to spiral out of control when Kay is transferred to the same Police Unit as Marc, and the men are literally thrown together.  However after Bettina gives birth to their son, Marc is determined to fix what he sees as the errors of his ways and become a good father, so he gives up Kay.  For a very short while anyway. Soon after, Kay is exposed as being gay and this becomes common knowledge at the Police Station where he is relentlessly taunted by another colleague (who is obviously a latent homosexual himself). One day when Kay gets involved in a fight in the Station’s canteen, Marc jumps in to rescue him from being beaten up and ends up in hospital himself. And suddenly this triggers off the exposure of their affair which can no longer be hidden.

This rather compelling debut feature from writer/director Stephan Lacant about forbidden love in a very rampant homophobic community tells the story through Marc’s eyes and is overly sympathetic to his quandary and confusion.  Poor Bettina is portrayed not as a victim of her boyfriend’s dalliance with Kay and his struggle with being honest with himself, but she is insensitively shown as being more of an obstacle in his path. The relationship between the two men is almost completely physical (and some of the sex was a little too unrealistic) and there is scant attention to any emotional feelings between them. It’s not just pretty clear from almost the word go that someone in this triangle is bound to be hurt, but the likelihood that none of them will end up with what they want, is soon so much more than a mere possibility.

Very well written, and beautifully acted by the three leads Hanno Koffler, Max Riemelt,  and Katharina Schüttler, its very easy to see why ‘Free Fall’ was a big hit with audiences on the Film Festival circuit last year.


Posted by queerguru  at  12:14

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Genres:  coming out

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