Connect with us
clara sola

Movie Reviews

‘Clara Sola’ review: Sensual & magical drama remains grounded

Passionate and beautiful in unexpected ways.

Clara Sola is a coming of age story that also focuses on the bonds between women. Clara (Wendy Chinchilla Araya) is a forty year old woman whose live is controlled by her mother Fresia (Flor Maria Vargas Chavez). Her religious mother has so much control that she prevents her daughter for getting the spinal surgery that would remove so much pain from Clara’s life Their lives, along with the life of teenaged niece Maria (Laura Román Arguedas) changes with the arrival of a tour guide named Santiago (Daniel Castañeda Rincón).

The film is powered by a sexual tension that goes beyond the sensual. Due to Fresia’s insistence on keeping her daughter pure (she rubs her fingers in hot chilis to discourage masturbating), Clara’s sexual maturation has been stunted. She is turned on by many things and watches as Santiago and her niece steal kisses whenever they have a chance.

Listen to the latest episode of the AIPT Movies Podcast!

But, there is a wonderment to it all. Clara Sola is about a sexual awakening that is filled with youthful curiosity. Clara does not know what she wants – she has never been allowed to have anything – so every decision is tentative, yet filled with purpose. In her feature debut, Araya does an excellent job of conveying the many emotions of the lead character. Though she has lived her life under her mother’s thumb, there is a confidence about her. Clara is filled with contradictions, making her very relatable.

'Clara Sola' review: Sensual & magical drama remains grounded

Her connection to the natural world is a running theme throughout the film. Her best friend is a horse named Yuca. By no coincidence, the horse is the only thing that actually listens to her. While others are not as domineering as Fresia, they still hold Clara on a different level due to a gift she has that was supposedly bestowed upon her by the Virgin Mary. The camera does an excellent job of highlighting the relationship that Clara has with the fauna on the farm she lives. There is a mystical quality that never crosses over into the fantastic.

Clara Sola manages to effectively cover a variety of topics through its main character. Religion, misogyny, and sexism are all a part of the story being told. These can be difficult subjects to tackle, but due to the beautiful setting and deft writing, it comes of as a delicate tale of growth. There are many opportunities to move in a more chaotic direction, but writer-director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén offers up a grounded story that can be frustrating, but also leaves room for hope.

Clara Sola comes to the Landmark Theater in Los Angeles July 8

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today
Comments

In Case You Missed It

sundance film festival sundance film festival

[Sundance ’23] ‘Infinity Pool’ review: Grotesquely beautiful and hedonistic ride

Movie Reviews

X-Men Monday #189 - Benjamin Percy Talks 'X-Force', 'Wolverine', and 'Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance' X-Men Monday #189 - Benjamin Percy Talks 'X-Force', 'Wolverine', and 'Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance'

X-Men Monday #189 – Benjamin Percy Talks ‘X-Force’, ‘Wolverine’, and ‘Ghost Rider/Wolverine: Weapons of Vengeance’

Comic Books

Marvel Preview: Scarlet Witch #2 Marvel Preview: Scarlet Witch #2

Marvel Preview: Scarlet Witch #2

Comic Books

Psychic predictions: stunning research results revealed Psychic predictions: stunning research results revealed

Psychic predictions: stunning research results revealed

Pop Culture

Connect
Newsletter Signup