A family’s secret unravels in A Chiara, much to the surprise of a formally unaware titular teenager (played well by newcomer Swamy Rotolo, confidently leading the film). Chiara is worried and paranoid about her family’s safety, but she’s also angry that nobody will explain the situation to her. She receives reassurance, but that isn’t enough when she’s witnessed her father fleeing a scene before their family car was blown up.
A Chiara is part of a trilogy, although I had an okay time following Jonas Carpignano’s movie despite not seeing 2015’s Mediterranea and 2017’s A Ciambra. It’s thrilling during its claustrophobic tension, has an intriguing reveal, and there’s genuinely dramatic exchanges between Rotolo and her screen partners. However, Carpignano sets up a sticking point that wasn’t a convincing transition. It’s only worth bringing up because it’s a main component to Chiara’s personal journey. I could understand the conflicted emotions Chiara felt (and, again, Rotolo does a good job carrying the story and her character’s arc). But, the attitude merge from Chiara’s worrisome concerns to aggressively investigating the issue on her own is very bumpy; making her more confrontational moments feel like an otherwise patient movie is jumping the gun.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie