With a promising police career and a baby on the way, Marc's life seems to be right on track - then he meets fellow policeman Kay. During their regular jogs, Marc experiences a never-before-felt sense of ease and effortlessness - and what it means to fall in love with another man. Torn between his family and his new feelings for Kay, Marc sees his world careening more and more out of control. Suddenly, his life is in free fall and Marc realizes that, try as he may, he can't make everyone happy - least of all himself.Written by
Edition Salzgeber / edited by statmanjeff
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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