By Adam Ray Palmer
Something a little different on Cineroom today as we haven’t covered many short films in the past, but Free Fall is one that caught my attention from the poster alone.
A cool 19-minute short is the perfect lunch break movie, and one that will stop you munching on your sandwich, I’m sure.
Directed by Emmanuel Tenenbaum; the live-action short film Free Fall focuses on a young man, Tom (Abraham Lewis) who is at risk of losing everything. Tom is a young trader at a London bank, but his recent results have put him in the hot seat of the firing kind.
When the first plane hits the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th, 2001, Tom is convinced it is a terrorist attack and not an accident. He then decides to convince the team around him that this could be the biggest trade of his and their lives.
Within the first three minutes, the scene is set. Tom is sat at his desk being ridiculed by his colleagues for losing over £300k the previous day. Having not slept and on the edge of a sacking, Tom gets instructed by the team’s boss who comes out his office (a plush room full of leather and twice the size of the open-plan workplace) to get money-making when the clock strikes 8am.
As the day progresses with little to no success, the ill-fated event happens. The first plane hits the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Whilst the staff rally around the TV in astoundment, Tom takes it on himself to see if an opening can be found. Once he makes his mind up, backs his gut, and asks his boss for permission – he goes all in for the dosh.
Free Fall is the ultimate juxtaposition movie. It is of course a film pinned on a tragedy, but as we all know, adversity can bring opportunity. It’s difficult to will Tom, who is clearly a struggling personality, and his colleagues on as we know the devastating events they are trying to profit from. It’s important to note, and quite astonishingly, this is inspired by a true story.
Whilst the acting is far from ideal – exaggerated staff reactions and at times lacklustre dialogue delivery – it’s given a pass as the 1,140 seconds of film needs to get going and set the tense scenes as quickly as possible.
But to be fair, Tenenbaum does have a brilliant script in his hands and one he gets the most out of. It’s an anxious and gripping final five minutes as a key and gut-wrenching plot twist is revealed. I guess what it boils down to… every positive entity that occurs in this world always has a negative one waiting to pounce.
Cineroom’s rating: 4 stars
Free Fall will be released later in 2021 – certificate 12A