on 10 July 2014
This is just a stunning film, truly well shot and engaging. What I love about is film is that this really isn't a gay love story, but rather one telling the struggles of coming to terms with the most difficult of situations in life.
The acting was superb, directing first rate and the narrative made this an emotional and thought provoking exploration into the complexities of love.
on 10 March 2014
A very well acted and convincing film. The smoldering looks between the two main characters were very hot and totally believable, they looked genuinely into each other. There were a couple of highly erotic scenes, not X rated, just highly charged.
Unfortunately as with so many gay films, the ending was a little inconclusive and sad. The film has subtitles and I normally spend too much time reading them and losing track of the plot, but this was so well acted and not too much dialogue that I almost forgot I was reading them.
A film worth watching, but don't expect to feel happy after it !!!
on 1 December 2015
I will agree with many of the comments that this film is well crafted, the actors perform well, and the script is crisp. However, that is my point of departure. This movie completely lacks a moral compass, and we are asked to sympathize with two men who seem to be overwhelmingly motivated by their own narcissism. The real victim in this piece is the suffering girlfriend/new mother, to whom the movie spends little time on understanding her emotional fragility in favour of a promoting a sexist gay sex buddy theme
Kay (Max Riemelt) is a manipulative gay cop who takes advantage of fellow cop Marc’s (Hanno Koffler) emotional and sexual vulnerability. In this respect I don’t think Kay acts with deliberate motives but is guided by his naive opportunism. Marc, nominally heterosexual, is honest enough to admit to his feelings towards Kay, but nonetheless repeatedly asks Kay to keep his distance so that he can maintain his relationship with his girlfriend Bettina (Katharina Schuttler). He wants to develop in his role and responsibilities as a new father.
This isn’t enough for Kay who persistently shows up in Marc’s life on the pretext that he is in love with Marc. In any other context we would say that Kay needs counselling, but because this is a “gay love story” this outrageous behaviour is sanctioned. Had Kay been female, and this was a heterosexual triangle, would we be so supportive? Of course not. Kay’s actions are completely destructive, and at no point does he question his own actions because, of course, he is in love! And because this is a ‘gay love story’ the damaging consequences of Kay’s actions need no further examination, quite the reverse they are justified. What awful gay chauvinism!
In terms of Marc, we are asked to sympathize with him because he has reached an emotional and sexual nexus. I’m sorry, but as soon as he learned that he was going to be a father that was it for me. The fact that he believes he has to make a choice is totally narcissistic. He had made his decision (fatherhood) before he met Kay, and this story line allows him to evade the responsibility for this decision. As a consequence of his dalliance with Kay, his relationship with Bettina may have been seriously undermined, but her returning to him after walking out on him, illustrates her determinedness (at least) to work through the problem. Not so with Marc, who turns his back on Bettina (and their new baby) to pursue his spurious relationship with Kay.
Although there have been some comparisons with Brokeback Mountain. At least Jack and Ennis put their families first, not because it was ‘family’ but because they accepted their responsibilities first and foremost. Free Fall seems to allow Kay and Marc to turn their respective backs on any responsibilities because they’re in love. And because it’s ‘gay love’, we dare not criticize them.
I actually feel sorry for Bettina, which the storyline doesn’t really allow you to do so much. She is consistently lied to by Marc, tries to understand his moods, she even accommodates his moods. When she does find out about the relationship she is naturally hurt and angry, but really does her best in trying to understand it. However, since having the baby she apparently becomes a baggage of emotional problems for poor Marc, and equally her suffering is eclipsed by Marc’s narcissistic voyage of sexual self-discovery. She is the real casualty of Marc and Kay’s relationship, but very real sympathy/understanding is not spared for her.
There were a couple of other things I was also annoyed about. Like many gay men, I have been subjected to anti-gay prejudices and violence – far worse than in the movie. I felt this wasn’t tackled in as much as it was simply used to garner even more sympathy for our self-absorbed protagonists. We were also once again subjected to the myth that what gay men really want is to shafted by a straight bloke. This cliché is so old it has hairs on its. Finally, and far as the eroticism goes, Marc, whether he is being masturbated by kay, or is penetrating Kay, seems to climax in a split second – blink and you miss it. Yawn.
This movie is highly watchable, and I do recommend it, even if guardedly so. However, it succeeds on form rather than substance, and on this it precariously wobbles on a morally dubious foundation. Personally, I’d like it to be re-written with a stronger emphasis on Bettina, and how she tries to deal with the situation. I don’t think this was a ‘brave’ gay movie. I instead thought it was illustrative of how selfish motives are often destructive, which perhaps was the real point.
I would like to see a movie like this (a complex triangular gay love story) that doesn’t end up portraying women as obstacles, rather than the victims/casualties they in reality are. It too often panders to a misogynistic interpretation of women that gay cinema can all to readily provide.