Revenge is a dish best served cold, they say, and revenge triggered by a callous and cowardly act of terrorism together with an apparent abrogation of the authority of the court system is the frozen meal brought to the table in IN THE FADE.
Fade in on a joyous wedding held in prison, wedlock committed under lock and key, between a Turkish man, Nuri, doing time for drug trafficking and free wheeling German girl, Katja, with tats from tit to toe.
Fast forward and the couple are back on civvy street, a family complete with son, Rocco, and a business helping Turkish migrants in Germany.
Out of nowhere, Katja’s life falls apart when her husband Nuri and little son Rocco are killed in a bomb attack.
Investigating police suspect the killing may be part of Nuri’s drug dealing past and cast aspersions on whether he has indeed jettisoned his junkie dealing ways. Or maybe he was targeted by Islamic jihadists unhappy that he had integrated into Western society.
The mind-numbing search for the perpetrators and reasons behind the senseless killing complicate Katja‘s painful mourning, opening wounds and doubts, fracturing family ties that were already fragile.
Katjja’s parents, especially her mother, was against the marriage from the start, and Nuri’s folks are bitter that he’d died on foreign soil and there is a refusal to repatriate his body.
From personal tragedy and mourning, IN THE FADE morphs into a courtroom drama. Danilo, a lawyer and Nuri’s best friend, represents Katja in the eventual trial against the two suspects: a young couple from the neo-Nazi scene.
Fade out and IN THE FADE morphs again into a revenge tragedy, with Katja seeking to restore sight to blind justice.
Director Fatih Akin steers IN THE FADE away from the shipwrecked shores of shoddy vigilante pictures by giving extrapolated exploration of Katja’s state of mind and reflects on the motives of people who have had everything they lived for taken from them.
Indiscriminate slaughter gives rise to personal payback, cold blooded cowardice conceives blood boiling retribution, a slow combustion of devastating consequence.
Diane Kruger is superb as Katja, absolutely deserving of her Best Actress win at The Cannes Film Festival. Arguably she should have been nominated for an Oscar for this brave and nuanced rollercoaster performance.
IN THE FADE won Best Foregn Language Film at the Golden Globes but did not make the cut in the same category at the Oscars.
Where is the justice?