Friday, August 8, 2014

Streaming: Stephan Lacant's FREE FALL probes two young policemen in love -- and in trouble

If you're going to make a modern-day movie about two German policemen -- one of whom is gay, while the other is just beginning to discover his homosexual attraction -- you could not ask for two hotter nor more talented young actors than Hanno Koffler and Max Riemelt to flesh out these roles. Their physical beauty, coupled to an ability to throw themselves deeply into their relationship of love and anger, desire and fear, goes some distance in making FREE FALL (Freier Fall) work as well as it does.

Filmmaker Stephan Lacant (shown at right) makes full use of the physical beauty on display, as well as the emotional range necessary to portray a supposedly straight man, Marc, complete with loving girlfriend and a child on the way, who finds himself attracted to a young male police trainee, Kay, who has no problem making clear that he wants Marc, body and soul. Herr Koffler, shown below, left, brings to the fore every bit of the angst, uncertainty and throbbing sexuality a man would feel if, up to now, he'd considered himself straight and "normal" but is suddenly experiencing a kind of sexual and physical attraction he has never encountered. As expected, this soon throws his entire life out of whack. Koffler gives a hugely real and disturbing performance, which becomes the major reason to see the movie.

In the role of Jay, Herr Riemelt has the less showy role but he fills it out quite well. A good actor whom TrustMovies has seen and enjoyed in several German films-- especially The Wave and We Are the Night (one of the best vampire movies of recent years) -- Riemelt plays the wiser, more seasoned gay man, and he brings a deeper understanding to the proceedings, even as he longs for more from his amour.

In the role of the put-upon girlfriend, Katharina Schüttler (below) has the least appealing role. You feel sorry for her, but your sympathies must reside with the two guys because it is clear that theirs is the major relationship here.

Despite the gains made by gays throughout much of the western world, neither the specific familes shown here nor the workplace in which our cops labor provides any sustenance. The police, notoriously macho from culture to culture, prove a breeding ground for prejudice and physical horseplay that seems to invariably turn nasty.

Free Fall, which perfectly describes the state in which Marc finds himself, is not a ground-breaking movie. We've seen this before -- though maybe not featuring Germans (and ceretainly not gorgeous Germans like these) -- and yet it is worth viewing again, for the difference in details and culture, and the performances of the two leads.

Marc and Kay are pretty close to the proverbial match made in heaven, if only they could circumvent the hell around them.  No easy task, when history, family and general culture all push against the deepest needs of our increasingly weary protagonists.

The movie -- from Wolfe Video and running 100 minutes -- is available now on Netflix streaming and elsewhere, as well as on DVD.

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