Chicago International Film Festival 2016: Fado
By Devvon Eubanks
As humans, we have several emotions that can inhibit us from becoming the best in our careers and our relationships. Lust, greed, pride, and anger are just a few emotions that, if taken too far, can destroy our character and those we hold near and dear. This is the driving premise behind Jonas Rothlaender’s “Fado,” a love story that quickly becomes a downward spiral filled with ignorance, anger, pain, and most of all, jealousy. Fabian (Golo Euler) is a young doctor who sees a dead trauma patient that reminds him of his ex-girlfriend, Doro (Luise Heyer). Scared of what may happen to her and still longing to be with her, Fabian moves to Lisbon to try to win her back at all costs. But while their initial connection is successful and the two get closer, the pain of the past and Fabian’s jealousy surface, once again putting their relationship to the test. The film's setting serves as a nice backdrop for the events. There are melancholy scenes in Lisbon that reflect Fabian’s doubt and confusion, which helps to drive the narrative and keep the viewer engaged. The cinematography and plot are also good, notably on various close-up shots when Fabian is conflicted or appears to be going insane, even blurring real events with things that are going on in his head. There is a scene, for example, where the pair is having sex and Fabian imagines Doro copulating with a friend of hers at the same time. However, these scene changes are extremely abrupt and can easily confuse the viewer earlier on, as they may not understand that some of these scenes are what Fabian is imagining. Also, Euler’s acting is a bit over-the-top at times, even though he does a good job overall. The whirlwind of emotions also accurately reflects some of the troubles of modern romance. From being completely in love to outright stalking and manipulation, this film speaks to the viewer who has been in an abusive relationship with a controlling partner, poignantly displaying its struggles while putting the viewer at the center of all the dark and gritty action. Overall, “Fado” is a truthful representation of what happens when people take things too far in the pursuit of love.