All the characters in this gloomy two-hour mosaic of everyday people whose lives are affected by the death of a young Austrian woman in a car collision are searching for an underlying meaning to seemingly random events. The sudden death of Manu (Kathrin Resetarits), a grocery store clerk on the way home from a disco, comes six years after she narrowly survives a plane crash while flying home from a vacation in Rio de Janeiro. The movie toys with the possibility that Manu was living on borrowed time because she had already cheated fate once. It also hints at the notion that Manu, even after her death, might still be observing (and perhaps manipulating) the lives of her friends and family in the dreary Austrian town where she grew up. The director Barbara Albert looks down on the characters in her overpopulated movie as though she were an omniscient, cold-hearted ghost. In having most of them place their hopes in tawdry games of chance and debased spiritualism, her pity for them is confused with her contempt for the pop culture that preys on them. Although 'Free Radicals' overflows with messy feelings, it maintains such a measured distance from the assembled cries and whispers that it's difficult to empathize with anyone.