In the Fade
Stars: Diane Kruger, Denis Moschitto, Johnannes Krisch, Numan Akar
Despite a riveting performance from Diana Kruger, this courtroom revenge thriller from the once vital Turkish German director Fatih Akin, feels disappointingly mainstream and boilerplate. Kruger is Katja, a brassy, bottle blonde Hamburg-dwelling mother, married to a Kurdish ex-drug dealer Nuri (Akar). Nuri studied business in prison and, on his release, immediately married Katja, then set up his own company as a translator and tax advisor. Katja’s life is shattered when she returns home one day to find a nail bomb has been detonated outside her husband’s office. The subsequent police investigation explores various possibilities (drug-related, sectarian rivalries) before settling on home-grown Neo-Nazis. The picture is set up as a triptych with three portentously titled segments, covering the initial incident, the subsequent trial, and its aftermath. But while there’s no doubting the director’s sincerity in highlighting the plight of the Turkish immigrant community, and the disturbing rise of the far-right in Europe, the film veers clumsily between pulpy thriller and earnest issues drama, and the ending feels misjudged. It’s left to Kruger to carry the film with a raw performance which is so much more accomplished than the film warrants. Even a propulsive score from Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme (the film’s English title is taken from one of the band’s songs) fails to ignite the drama.