Film Review: In The Fade

Fatih Akin’s In The Fade is a compelling crime drama. The film is elevated by a tour de force performance from Diane Kruger.

When Katja says goodbye to her husband and young son for a day out, she has no idea what will later unfold. After a tragedy, Katja seeks justice, and later retribution…

Written, directed, and produced by Fatih Akin, In The Fade is a crime drama with a very contemporary resonance. The film explores various themes, including grief, the justice system, extreme ideologies, and revenge. The story is told in three acts; the first focuses on Katja’s relationship with her family and the immediate fallout from the tragedy, the second on the court case, and the final on Katja wanting to exact revenge.

Akin’s film is impactful, even if the acts are a little uneven. The first act conveys the strength of feeling, and the depths of grief. Katja is a great protagonist in that she is imperfect but evokes empathy throughout. The middle act focuses on the court case, and feels procedure-heavy at times. Nevertheless, there are a couple of scenes which are striking and stirring. Perhaps the most difficult scene is that in which an investigator details the nature of the injuries. Akin delivers this scene in a clinical yet devastating manner.

The final act ramps up the tension, with Akin offering an uneasiness and a sense of inevitability as the film draws to its climax. Diane Kruger is utterly convincing throughout, portraying the sharpness of grief, as well as righteous rage. Denis Moschitto offers good support, but really the film is all about Kruger’s Katja. Other characters adhere to archetypes, but this is a minor quibble.

In The Fade is an affecting depiction of the after effects of terrorism, whilst bringing into view contemporary targets and culprits.

In The Fade is released in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema on 22nd June 2018.