Free Fall (or Freier Fall, to give it its German title) is an award-winning drama from director Stephen Lacant. It has been branded a sort of German Brokeback Mountain, and indeed there are parallels between the two movies, but in some ways Free Fall is more gritty, more rooted in the present day.
Marc would seem to have his life sorted out. He’s doing well in the police force, his girlfriend is having a baby, and they have just moved into a house, next door to Marc’s parents. He is happy (or he thinks he is) and everything is going well for him. He meets Kay at a training camp and the two men become attracted to each other. Though Marc tries hard to fight his feelings, he later starts a relationship with Kay and subsequently finds his life spiralling out of control.
I suppose the basic storyline has a certain resemblance to Brokeback Mountain, but there the similarities end. Whereas in Brokeback much of the romance is played out against the magnificent scenery of Wyoming, this relationship is much more claustrophobic, harder to hide as so much of their life is in plain view; not much chance for the men to get away from their colleagues and Marc’s family.
Ultimately the movie is not just about Marc’s coming to terms with his homosexuality, it is more about whether he will allow himself the freedom to walk away from the life that has been set out for him by his parents, his colleagues and his girlfriend. Marc finds it impossible to choose between Bettina and Kay because he can’t decide between the two lives they represent, between comfortable domesticity on the one hand, and freedom, with all the danger and unpredictability that suggests, on the other.
Ultimately that choice is made for him, and though we do not know how life will pan out for Marc, there is a suggestion that he will eventually break free.
With superb performances from the two central actors,Hanno Koffler as Marc and Max Riemelt as Kay, not to mention Katharina Schuttler as Marc’s girlfriend Bettina, it is an engaging and involving movie beautifully filmed and subtly played out. Lacant directs with a sure hand which is honest and true.