Star Rating:

Free Fall

Director: Stephan Lacant

Actors: Max Riemelt, Attila Borlan, Hanno Koffler

Release Date: Monday 30th November -0001

Genre(s): Drama

Running time: 100 minutes

Marc (Hanno Koffler) is happily married with a baby on the way, but is finding it difficult to get through the German police academy without getting into trouble or failing his exams. Another cadet, Kay (Max Riemelt), offers to assist him, and the two find themselves oddly attracted to each other. It turns out that Kay is actually gay, and after a while Marc gives into his advances and the two begin an affair together. Taking place in the hyper-masculine world of the police force, as well as Marc's current relationship status, things must be kept very much on the down-low, which doesn't sit well with Kay, who wants to flaunt their new-found love proud and loud.

Hailed as 'the German Brokeback Mountain', it actually comes as a bit of a shock just how regressive Free Fall turns out to be. Yes, Kay isn't 'obviously' homosexual, and yes, there is still obviously some homophobia to be found in such forward-thinking countries such as Germany, but the character of Kay is still one of the more caricatured gay men in recent cinema.

After the initial seduction scene - which comes across quite predatory, as it involves Kay literally chasing Marc up an empty road - the homosexual character then introduces the heterosexual character to the following: house music in a speaker-thumping gay bar, recreational drugs, unprotected sex in public areas, and relationships seemingly based on nothing more than physical attraction. It’s like a checklist of cliched things that the unenlightened assume all gay people do and/or enjoy.

To the films credit, Koffler and Riemelt have some great chemistry together, and it does ALMOST ask the relevant question of whether it's possible for a straight man to fancy just one other man and continue to be considered 'not gay'. But every time the movie takes a step forward in the right direction, it takes two backwards in the wrong direction.

By no means a badly made film, just not a very interesting or intelligent one.