Free Fall is a slick, impressive German-language film about sexual confusion and deception. Marc Bergman (Hano Koffler) is the police cadet who is finding it difficult to be a model student, but he is a likable chap who is popular with his unit.
In the rough and tumble of a riot enactment, Marc strikes a fellow student, Kay Engel (Max Riemelt). The incident can easily be put down to adrenalin, and after a brief apology, the two become secret buddies, sharing joints, which is hardly acceptable in a police academy.
They also go jogging together, which is where the intimacy and the trouble starts. Kay may be a free spirit who cruises gay bars and pops ecstasy, but Marc has a steady girlfriend Bettina (Katharina Schüttler) who is pregnant with their first child. Before moving into their own flat, the couple are lodging with Marc’s parents, who are neighbours of the Richters, Frank and Claudia. Frank happens to be the squad leader of Marc’s unit. It’s all a bit uncomfortably close to home when the manure hits the fan.
The scene is set for a drama that will weave its insidious way through the macho work environment into the intimacies of Marc and Bettina’s domestic bliss. Koffler, Riemelt and Schüttler are consummate actors, utterly convincing as their doom-laden love triangle gets into its stride.
The movie is not as ambitious, morally thought-provoking - or indeed as long - as the comparable Blue is the Warmest Colour, but Free Fall is a taut exercise that will keep your attention until the inconclusive close. Can be seen at the Lighthouse.