Despite the hippie-flavored, upbeat
implications of its title, "Free Radicals" is
definitely neither the dope
nor date movie of
the summer. It begins with a plane crash and
proceeds to a car crash, should you require
proof of that statement. Things don't get much
cheerier, resulting in a morose tale
connecting the shattered lives of numerous
Austrians, including recent widower Andreas
(Georg Friedrich) and his daughter, his
mistress--his deceased wife's closest friend
Andrea (Ursula Strauss)--and Kai (Dominik
Hartel), the teenager responsible for the
woman's death. Throw in some unrequited
love, high-school angst and sordid sexual
Like its similarly well-acted relative, Ulrich
Seidl's "Dog Days," the ceaseless upset of
"Free Radicals" starts to ring false the same
way vapidly upbeat mainstream fare does.
Both portray life as black or white, not in more
realistic shades of gray. Aside from a few brief
glimmers of hope or happiness, director
Barbara Albert piles her compilation of abject
misery a bit too high.
Strauss, Georg Friedrich and Kathrin
Resetarits. Directed and written by Barbara
Albert. Produced by Antonin Svoboda and
Martin Gschlacht. A Kino release. Drama.
Austrian-language; subtitled. Unrated.
Running time: 120 min