- Movie Rating -

A Chiara (2022)

| June 2, 2022

A Chiara from filmmaker Jonas Carpignano is an Italian-language drama that bears an interesting idea.  In the midst of teen angst, confusion, changes and discoveries, what would happen if added to that was the revelation that your father was a wanted criminal?  What would be your emotional state?  How would it hit you psychologically?

You might wonder, but as far as A Chiara you might have to seek answers elsewhere.  What happens to is protagonist ebbs somewhere between a crime thriller and a family drama with the crime thriller stuff taking the wheel.

The opening scenes promise something immersive.  Chiara (Swamy Rotolo) is a pretty girl of 15 living in a noisy house in Calabria with her family – father, mother and sisters – but is struggling to build a relationship with her father Claudio (Claudio Rotolo).  He is elusive for reasons that we learn all-too-quickly but they briefly have a bonding moment at her birthday party.

Then something happens.  He disappears without warning.  The family’s car is bombed, and there is news that the local polizia are looking for him.  Why?  What’s going on?  Chiara’s search for answers leads her down a deep labyrinth to uncover her father’s secret life.

Really, I would like to say that this stuff is engrossing, but it’s not.  The back half of the movie has Chiara going on one long search for clues, unearthing disturbing fact after disturbing fact to figure out where her father is located and what he’s up to.  But it’s really not that interesting mainly because there isn’t much of an emotional payoff.  Largely comes from the misfired performance of Swarmy Rotolo whose face is a mask of stoic determination, which I think is the wrong approach.  She bears the emotional iron-will of a person in her 30s, not a girl at the edge of 16.  She’s playing the role more in a vein of Jason Bourne, and it robs the film of the emotional turmoil that we expect.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2022) View IMDB Filed in: Foreign