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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 2, 2014
Released in Germany as `Freir Fall' this has been compared to `Brokeback Mountain', but apart from it being about a man who is gay in a heterosexual relationship, I can't really see any other similarities. We meet Marc who is a cop and he has a pregnant girlfriend and what appears to be a life plan. Then at the academy he meets Kay who is more free whelin' than him and after getting off on the wrong foot they slowly hit it off.

Now despite the police or polizei being all inclusive these days there is still a vast undercurrent of homophobia and this is shown and there is some violence. Soon Marc realises what he wants and moreover who he wants but societal pressures and the arrival of his new baby son are all contributing to making him want to hurt the one he really loves.

This is a rather good film the two male leads are always guaranteed to put in a solid performance. Marc is played by Hanno Kofler - `Krabat' and the excellent `Summer Storm'. Kay is played by Max Riemelt - `Napola' and `The Fourth State'. The sub titles are good to ok as they are not always a literal translation which I know some prefer but I like it told straight. This is a film that will not tick all the boxes, the ending especially may fail to deliver for some viewers; there is a limited amount of scenes of a sexual nature but nothing to frighten the horses of even a randy pony to be honest. However, this is still a very strong film with some excellent performances indeed - recommended to fans of gay themed cinema.
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on February 9, 2014
This is a great film for quite a few reasons. Since the other reviewers mention a lot of them. I’ll say ditto to the 4 and 5 reviewers and add my bit.
For me this film was about separation from the plan an individual makes when they are young, and finding out that that path is not necessarily the one which is right for you.
Marc seemed to come from a family of policemen and had been groomed by that family to follow in their footsteps. Anyone who has support from their parents will understand this. Parents love by trying to make sure their child doesn’t make the mistakes they made or they saw others make. They mean well, but often don’t see who their child truly is. The child is a child so blindly follows the chosen path, until they wake up.
Sometimes they wake by themselves, sometime an incident wakes them. In this case Kay woke Marc.
Basically if/when you wake up, it can be painful, as you realize you are truly alone in the world. However once you make peace with that, it is ever so liberating and you are free to be who and what you chose.
I believe this is why we are always told not to be in such a rush to grow up. It takes time to learn how to observe before you act. This is why many of us end up with houses, spouses and children without ever understanding that these things are not what we are looking for. Or if we do want these things, we do not take into account how much of our Selves we have to give to each of these things.
As far as the gay angle, well we humans love to persecute any thing, idea or one that is different, which to me translates as if you are persecuting someone you are either jealous or afraid... Yeah, you are a “Pussy.” Instead of lashing out, go inside and figure out what the hell scares you so much and face it. Yes, gay person here. Great film on many levels.
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on December 25, 2013
Although one is initially alerted to the possible use of the police academy setting to metaphorically delineate some of the dynamics present in a society's norms as part of its imposed conditioning (the training academy especially implying a sense of regimentation), this very well-made film actually registers most of its concerns in a low-key manner, allowing some indirection to come through the proceedings by giving enough space for subtler impressions and meaning. 



Apparently, many viewers want to characterize the film's subject in terms of a conflicted choice between heterosexuality and homosexuality, which makes about as much sense as merely portraying its content as the treatment of a love triangle; it reveals a rather limited level of engagement and even suggests that such issues are far from politically resolved in their minds. But while the storyline could be read on the surface for perplexing issues around self-identity, sexual or otherwise, it is ultimately about someone who gradually allows himself the freedom to experience not only different ways of loving others, but also the vital ways in which life actually unfolds in a broader sense, beyond the difficulties of imposed human limitations. 



The courage of Lacant's film lies in its delineation of what life is like when one truly begins to negotiate one's freedom by opening up fully to the presence of ambiguity and not knowing - entering into the "free fall" of the title - and going beyond limited distinctions, to find and live out what is actually true from moment to moment. A Taoist expression comes to mind as one follows Marc's trajectory into his own realm of truth: the more free you are, the more unpredictable you become. 



Which asks us all: can you live out your truth in this most uncompromising way? Or, can you live with someone who is? What does freedom look like in a world full of all the shoulds and musts which we and others continually wish to impose upon ourselves? Marc begins to show us as he learns to submit to his own free-fall - which is no less than remaining open and vulnerable to whatever is transpiring. 



The performances are excellent throughout, although working from a carefully written script which tends to deliberately tailor the depth of all the other characters beside Marc. Thus, while in the end Kai shows up as little more than a catalyst for Marc's awakening and perhaps generating our wish for a bit more character development, it is really Marc's story after all, and we are meant to inhabit the film's shades of meaning by traveling through his experiences from his vantage point.



It could be said that in a society no longer concerned with an immature sense of morality or inadequate ethics, Marc would both be able to bear a child with a woman as well as express the love he might feel for another man, if he is so inclined. But Marc, like the rest of us, is born in time, and therefore occupies a certain karmic status, posited by the complexity of circumstances… and the way to the truth is largely through one's karma.



Although we humans are still somewhat tribal and limited beings, whose sense of freedom is defined and grounded in our very limitations, the film nonetheless demonstrates in its closing statement that we can only live meaningfully by choosing from our own freedom - and thus encountering the possibility of a real and lived life, beyond all expectations - if we assume the courage to do so… a courage exemplified by director Lacant in this direct and honest film.
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on March 13, 2014
This finely acted drama that resolves itself unexpectedly is not exploitative soft gay porn. Yes it is erotic and the two protagonists are hot cops, but the story of a young "straight" cop who is a new father and his affair with a gay roommate at his police academy, plays out in unexpected ways. You expect him to just have the affair and reject the man, going back to his straight life. But the affair changes something basic in him and he discovers too late how deep his feelings are. He also comes to terms with the ostracism a gay life can bring with both his shocked parents and his narrow minded straight co workers. All in all this is an erotically charged piece but mostly it's a Finley acted one with two (I assume) straight actors who really go there.
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on March 17, 2014
Bottled up feelings can come out in words or actions. Marc doesn't talk much. His father had to drag words out of him as a child. In a family of policemen, the hurt and angry Marc didn't learn to express his feelings. He acts them out, much like an adolescent would. The problem is that he's about to become a father, lives with his pregnant girlfriend next door to his parents, and is falling in love with his Shadow, the handsome Kay, who knows he's gay. Unable to process his feelings with words, Marc acts out and betrays everyone, including himself. This is a brilliantly acted film. That it is in German doesn't really matter, most of the message is visual in the body language. Any man who has gone through the transition of fatherhood will be able to relate to the repressed feelings needing to get out. How we deal with our feelings creates the consequences. In a world of double values in transition this film says it all.
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on July 18, 2014
After watching it a few times, getting into depth with the characters, and the plot as much as possible, this has my #1 favorite LGBT story-line, but NOT entirely as a MOVIE.

The movie was presented pretty well, the performances of Hanno Koffler (Marc) and Max Riemelt (Kay) were absolutely fantastic. Their chemistry in the film is incredible, as well as in real life (though they are both straight, but that's pretty rare sometimes! ++). They are two very handsome actors and fit their characters very good.

Credits also to the actress who played Bettina and everyone else.

Otherwise, there are some downside parts to the FILM. To begin with, I can tell it's probably/somewhat low budget, but it's little above average with the cinematography, regardless it could've been better.

We barely know much about Kay (which isn't really the problem, but...) I feel like the film should've been longer than an hour and 30-40 minutes to expand on some things. Another LGBT film, 'Blue is the warmest color', does this (3 hours).

The sex scenes in this film were about as perfect, they are romantic, passionate, and erotic. I say this because most gay films that feature sexual content lack at everything to the audience except the erotic part, which is boring to me.

The US dvd features really no goodies, as compared to the German release (I have both) which includes an audio commentary, several deleted scenes, several subtitles in various languages, and a booklet that consists of an interview with Hanno and Max.

Overall, I'd score this film a 10/10 for the story, 9/10 for the acting performances, and 6.5/10 for the cinematography.
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The lead actors in this film are fantastic. The storyline is as it has been explained in other reviews. Sadly, life doesn't turn out OK for any of the principal players by the movie's end. All suffer terrible emotional pain, but will ultimately struggle through and survive. Not a Hollywood or fairy tale ending, but representative of reality. The film also shows that despite substantial progress made by gay people, homophobia and violence against gays still happens--even in relatively progressive 21st century Germany.
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on March 3, 2014
I debated about watching this because the trailer said it was German's answer to Brokeback Mountain and we all know how that ended. It was a good movie but I hoped the ending would be better than Brokeback Mountain. The ending was different but still sad. I like a movie to end with a good feel. I gave it 4 stars because the movie was good and the acting was solid but 4.5 to 5 stars means I was smiling at the end and I was not. So the best I can give it is 4 stars.
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on June 24, 2014
I thought this was a pretty cool film. The characters are attractive and believable, and I thought the emotional struggles faced by the guy who was fighting his "gay inclinations" were depicted in an accurate and believable way. In general, I've noticed that we seem to have more gay-themed filmed that are highlighting the fact that gay people often have difficulties not just with societal and family acceptance, but with overcoming their own internalized barriers to accepting themselves. I mean really... we all want to fit in, and for LGBT folks, it's not the easiest thing. Movies like this one portray that struggle in a realistic but entertaining way. I would definitely recommend it.
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on February 14, 2014
This is a movie I absolutely enjoyed on many levels. The movie gives insights into conditioned upbringing, a clear demarcation of whats considered to be right and whats wrong but at what price? Are individual freeedom and desires to be sacrificed at the altar of such beliefs? Marc in this movie is portrayed as the traditonal guy with a great family and a girlfriend who is pregnant. Everything in his life looks okay until Kay walks in and introduces him to what can best described as a whiff of fresh air. With freedom comes responsibility and for someone like Marc this is extremely difficult. He has been taught and groomed to make everyone happy at the price of his own. So when he experiences adventure, freedom, a sense of flight and happiness with Kay, he is unable to accept it or adjust to it. Interwoven within the movie premise are societal attitudes towards homosexuality. I would have preferred a happy ending of Marc with Kay but the effort to come out of a suffocating relationship by Marc is in itself a great step forward. Highly recommended for the acting (Both Hanno and Max), chemistry between the actors and the beautiful storyline.
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