Free Fall (2013)

Who has two thumbs and survived the worst heatwave to hit the Pacific Northwest in recorded history? This guy! Anyway, Pride Month is almost over and there was one last thing I wanted to do in honor of it: watch Freier Fall, AKA Free Fall. It’s a German film from 2013 about two men who fall in love, but society is against them. Sound familiar and a little… overplayed? Sure does to me!

The story follows Marc (Mr. Hanno Koffler), a riot cop in training with a pregnant girlfriend, Bettina. Enter Kay (Max Riemelt, AKA Wolfgang in Sens8), a fellow trainee who starts aggressively flirting with Marc. This, of course, leads to a sexual relationship that Marc hides from his coworkers, family, and girlfriend. They get caught by Marc’s mom, Kay gets outed to his coworkers, and soon enough everyone knows they’ve been fucking. But Marc is a dumbass and alienates everyone as he struggles to keep his life together. Bettina takes the baby and leaves him, and Kay moves away without a word. At least Marc still has his job! ACAB, though, so losses all around.

Once upon a time, these were the only gay stories movies could tell. I mean that literally with the Hays Code, but later on gay tragedies made the big bucks. Brokeback Mountain, Boys Don’t Cry, and Soldier’s Girl are notable examples. Part of the issue is that queer people don’t have the easiest of lives; Boys Don’t Cry and Soldier’s Girl are both based on real events and real people, one of whom would later be on a queer reality dating show. Freier Fall follows this pattern, albeit around a decade after those other movies, giving it a bit of a dated feel. Yes, we can–and should–have queer musicals, romances, and comedies, but queer dramas are the ones that tend to get award nominations.

I can’t put my finger on exactly why, despite all that, I still enjoyed this movie. Sure, Marc appears to feel a deeper connection with Kay than he did with Bettina, but holy fuck does he make every bad decision possible. Someone caught you in a lie? Act super defensive and never actually answer any of their questions! That’ll drop that subject forever, for sure! There’s some nudity and sexual acts, but nothing too graphic. I think I just really liked the look of Max Riemelt’s face and felt sad that he fell in love with a meathead already in a heterosexual relationship. I’m saying that I’d watch the sequel, I suppose. Oh, right, there have been plans for a Freier Fall 2, but the last update that I could find (as of time of writing) was before 2020 annihilated so many plans. So I’m not holding my breath.

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