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[Cannes ’21] ‘Free Men’ review: Atmospheric short held up by leads

Strong lead performances.

Free Men is a short film from Denmark screening at the Cannes Film Festival. The story follows two best friends who run into trouble at their jobs leading to the two rethinking their lives. Daniel wants independence while Emil longs for security. Before long, a serious choice has to be made.

Both actors come off as long time friends.

Chemistry is an important part of the short. Every scene is Free Men has at least one of the two friends and most have both. They are basically tasked to carry the film. The two do an excellent job of playing off each other. Both actors come off as long time friends instead of two guys playing parts. The strength of the bond carries Free Men.

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Things do take a while to get going. It is not until the halfway point that the plot starts to kick in. Before that, it is one gross out joke (that is not really played for comedy) and little else. The short never really takes full advantage of its two strong main characters.

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