We live in world where justice is hard to come by. Either the sentence isn’t harsh enough, the guilty get off scot-free, or the police get trigger-happy and simply fail to let justice take its course. Whatever the case, it seems that vigilante justice feels like it’s warranted more than ever. We’re currently living in a time where terrorism is real, only it no longer lives buried in the daily newspaper or in the middle of the nightly news - it’s in our cities and on our streets, yet we show strength and defiance in resilience and feel like we’ve won. However, thanks to a certain someone, Nazis have come back in vogue, and this time it feels different. We’re trying to defeat an enemy that we’ve already defeated. It’s a real-life horror film - kind of like Michael Meyers or Freddy Kruger - each time they come back they’re scarier because we know that if they die again they’re not really dead and they’ll just keep coming back and back and back.
WATCH: 'IN THE FADE'
Diane Kruger ('Unknown', ‘Inglorious Basterds’, 'National Treasure') plays Katja, the wife of Turkish immigrant Nuri (Numan Acar, ‘The Great Wall') and mother to eight-year-old Rocco (Rafael Santana). Katja and Nuri married in prison while Nuri was serving a four-year sentence for drug dealing, but upon his release becomes a settled, straight, family and business man. One evening, Katja returns to Nuri's office to pick him and Rocco up, only to discover that a bomb has exploded killing her husband and son. Devastated Katja now has to endure the unimaginable grief, the misled police investigation, prejudiced family members and the trial of the neo-Nazi perpetrators which sees Katja exploring her own form of justice.
Kruger delivers a powerful and heartbreaking performance, carrying the entire film, sometimes solely and it’s the best she’s been in years if not ever.
Struggling to make itself politically relevant, the message is shoved into the film’s narrative regardless of the fact that it doesn’t quite fit. While beautifully and strikingly shot, its storytelling becomes muddled and loses it impact along the way, which is disappointing after it starts out so strong. However, Kruger delivers a powerful and heartbreaking performance, carrying the entire film, and it’s the best she’s been in years, if not ever - relying on nothing but her actions and emotional output as her dialogue is sparse.
The film’s second act goes on for too long to eventually wind up with a conclusion we all saw coming, or else we wouldn’t be here - and quite frankly, it seems baseless and once again just a misstep all in the “aid” of the master plan. The whole time, ‘In the Fade’ feels like what it’s trying to say and what it ultimately becomes are two very different ideas. There’s another film buried in here somewhere, much more deserving of Kruger’s sensational performance, but it requires far too much digging.