Anatomy of Fall – Sandra Huller Is Guilty Or Not?

Shikhar Jauhari

Anatomy of a Fall

Justine Triet leaves it up to viewers to decide if Sandra Huller, her star actress from Germany, should believe her character is guilty or innocent. Triet stated she kept Huller in the dark on this matter.

This French legal drama, featuring Swann Arlaud and Milo Machado Graner as starring characters, is a captivating courtroom thriller that questions what constitutes truth versus perception.

Samuel Maleski’s death

Samuel Maleski, a writer and occasional teacher, died after falling from his window several stories up at home. Sandra, his widower at the time of his death, became suspect number one for his death due to discrepancies in the autopsy results. However, Sandra insists he died due to falling; she must defend herself against charges of murder as her only living witness is charged.

Anatomy of Fall is an exhilarating drama about love and guilt, drawing audiences closer to Sandra with each piece of evidence revealed in court. Huller brings incredible talent to this role; early in production, she asked director Justine Triet if Sandra had committed the crime by pushing her husband over a mountainside.

One of the film’s most captivating moments occurs when Sandra and Samuel’s argument from the day of Samuel’s death is played back for all to hear and see on tape. The audience members can listen to Sandra getting bruises during their fights with one another.

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However, at Sandra’s trial, Daniel testifies on her behalf as a witness. His story convinces the jury, and she is eventually exonerated from all charges.

The investigation

Since no other witnesses were present when Samuel fell from his window, Sandra quickly becomes the prime suspect and finds herself embroiled in a high-stakes trial. Although Sandra claims it was accidental, the prosecution claims otherwise by using inconsistencies in Sandra’s autopsy report against her; furthermore, Daniel, Sandra’s blind son, is forbidden from speaking with her during the proceedings for fear that their testimony will influence Sandra.

Anatomy of Fall stars Sandra as its central protagonist in an intriguing courtroom drama and marriage drama hybrid film that unpacks their relationship from within. At times, it is almost comical in tone. Anatomy of Fall forensically investigates their marriage while picking apart its various flaws, such as infidelity, or uses real events as inspiration for fictional writing by Sandra’s fictional alter egos.

Huller shines as Sandra, expertly shifting between arrogance and vulnerability. Her performance earned widespread acclaim; in fact, she was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress! Though some viewers might find the lack of resolution unsatisfying, it also serves as a powerful reminder of life’s complexity.

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The trial

As we know, Anatomy of Fall follows Sandra as she stands trial for her husband’s death – whether by pushing him out a window or jumping from it? A forensic team is called in to investigate, with their 11-year-old blind son Daniel becoming one of their key witnesses.

Sandra’s case is complex. The film offers a unique combination of whodunit, courtroom drama and marital melodrama elements as it explores women’s societal roles while dismantling a marriage gone sour.

Justine Triet’s script with Arthur Harari features many impressive forensic details. Every drop of blood is carefully diagrammed from all angles, creating an air of mystery surrounding Samuel’s death. Ultimately, what this film boils down to is an examination of Sandra’s personality. As an actress, Huller makes this an engaging portrait of an unconventional woman, keeping the audience on her side throughout.

Although we never fully decide if she did what was proposed by Huller’s character in this film, which never fully answers its central question about whether or not it happened, that may well have been part of its goal as life can often present uncertainty and sometimes suffering; nevertheless, it makes for a captivating account of a woman in crisis that will linger long after you turn out the lights.

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The verdict

As Sandra’s trial descends into a series of comedic dissections of her life and light infidelities, neither the prosecution nor the defence can come to an agreement on a verdict. Samuel’s sharp, merciless advocate (Antoine Reinartz) makes accusations about infatuation with younger men and uses her husband’s death for her novels. At the same time, the defence points out blood-splatter evidence, and Samuel had attempted suicide mere months prior.

Milo Machado-Graner’s sensitive yet dynamic performance of Daniel as the viewer becomes the symbol of their quest for truth as they struggle to understand his parents’ diverging perspectives of an incident, only becoming further estranged as each reality grows more opaque.

Anatomy of Fall is an engaging character study that examines the boundary between truth and perception. This movie captures how women are treated within the legal system and its complications for adult relationships. Whether Sandra killed Samuel or not is not central to its message; rather, it examines how people make life-altering decisions that have lasting impacts.

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