Adapted from the real incidents of Austria, “The Chalk Line” on Netflix is a 2022 Spanish psychological thriller drama film that revolves around the lives of Clara and Paula. Paula and her husband, Simon, found Clara roaming around the streets. The child was physically injured, and, to their surprise, she couldn’t speak at all. Paula and Simon decided to take her to the hospital to heal her wounds, but the child turned out to be very aggressive with the hospital staff. At that moment, the child’s social worker understood the significance of Paula in her life. The child was comfortable around Paula, so Paula and Simon figured out her name easily, but they had a long way to go since they had no clue about her family, and it was necessary to determine the causes of her injuries. The hospital staff had to tie her up to the bed to avoid any mishaps since Clara tended to attack anyone. As time went on, the child service workers wanted Paula to foster her for the time being since she responded to all her questions. Paula and Simon were considered to be the best choice for Clara’s well-being since the child required a peaceful environment to provide the right answers and clues. But things took a different turn when Paula noticed strange behavioral and repetitive patterns in Clara.
Paula and Simon noticed that the child never left a particular space and confined herself to a chalk line. The couple had to draw chalk lines around the house to get her out of bed and to make it possible, they removed as much furniture around the house as possible and drew lines everywhere possible. This allowed Clara to move around the house freely, but this behavior kept on bothering Paula since she showed signs of abuse. It was pretty clear that Clara was physically and mentally tortured by someone. But Paula didn’t lose her patience and decided to work on her feelings more. With time, Clara opened up to her and shared a few words through conversations. But Paula couldn’t understand the true meaning behind these words.
At first, Paula found these words to be gibberish, but later she discovered the language to be German. She began digging through the case files and found a case file for several missing children in Germany. Here, she spotted a distinctive case of a young girl named Ingrid who was kidnapped from Malaga beach in the year 2012, and since then, the officials couldn’t find out any information on her abduction. Paula went through videos of her parents requesting to send their child back, and here she figured out the truth. In the video, Ingrid’s parents went through her room, which was filled with crafty items, and the same crafts were made by Clara. Paula was sure that Ingrid was Clara’s mother, so she spent her time figuring out the rest of the clues. Clara used to make several sketches a day, and these sketches were a clue to inform Paula about the perpetrator.
Before finding these sketches, Paula drank coffee filled with tiny pieces of glass, and the same happened with her neighbor Claudia, who was pregnant at that time. Paula came back from the bathroom to clean her throat, but by the time she came back, Clara was kidnapped. Paula couldn’t find her anywhere, and that’s when these sketches helped. In those sketches, Clara drew outlines of the windows of Paula’s neighbor Eduardo, and Paula determined that Clara was held captive in his house. Paula informed the authorities and went ahead to find Clara. As she had expected, Eduardo was the perpetrator and was responsible for the abduction of Ingrid. Clara was his daughter. Eduardo murdered Ingrid in 2017 and discarded her body. Well, he decided to keep Clara and abused her for a very long time.
It was Eduardo who abused her to stay within chalk lines as Clara spent her whole life in the basement; she followed his commands without revolting. Paula was then attacked by Eduardo and thrown into the basement with Clara. She was severely injured, but she managed to distract Eduardo by sending him outside to find autopsy files of Ingrid. Paula carried pieces of chalk, and she requested Clara to draw her way out of the basement door. Soon, Clara managed to run outside but was caught by Eduardo’s wife, Maite. She used this opportunity to leave him and meet her sons in Barcelona. But the police managed to track them down through the chalk prints that were found on Eduardo’s entrance.
All the evidence was charged against him, and he was finally sentenced for all the crimes. The fact that Clara followed the chalk lines displayed the fear inside her mind. All this time, she had to follow him to be alive, and if the rules were broken, he would punish her severely. Even though the couple managed to draw chalk lines around the floor, Clara would become extremely aggressive if she was forced to step out of it. But with time, things settled down as Clara was sent to her grandparents in Germany. She learned to express her feelings and often communicated with Paula and Simon through video calls. ‘The Chalk Line’ will impress you with its twists and turns, and another interesting fact about this movie is Eduardo’s presence in the neighborhood. From the very beginning, Eduardo followed them everywhere, and this was the creepiest part, indeed.