MIFF Review: Clara and the Secret of the Bears
Switzerland/Germany (93 mins, dir. Tobias Ineichen)
‘Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of humanity.’ – Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
When thirteen year old Clara stumbles upon an ancient curse that endangers the balance of nature, she must find the willpower and strength to solve the secret of the bears and break the century-old curse.
Set in the Swiss Alps, Clara lives in a secluded town with her mother and father, surrounded by silence and the natural beauty of Mother Nature. The viewer is presented with breath-taking scenery and a strong use of cinematography which draws the viewer deeper into the film, awaiting the events that will unfold. The actors deliver a phenomenal performance, leaving the viewer hanging on to every last word that is spoken. The movie contains several ‘feel-good moments’ that release our sympathy towards the endangered bears and their mistreatment. Clara and The Secret of The Bears is an innocent adventure film that entices our eagerness through its mysterious plot and sometimes short, yet humorous and witty conversations and dialogue shared between the characters. However, despite these positives, Clara and The Secret of The Bears lacks major components that play a crucial role in deciding its final rating.
The film began with a slow start, and at first dragged on like a wounded horse, but began to pick up speed as the movie reached the halfway mark. It creates tension and dramatic situations, yet doesn’t deliver the much needed thrill that we as viewers look for in a good movie. The solution at the end of the movie is sloppy and lacks a powerful finish, which is disappointing for all of us movie goers. We’ve all heard of the six P’s, (Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents a Poor Performance) which is something that the writer and director did not take into consideration when creating this movie. But despite this, Clara and The Secret of The Bears is an enjoyable film aimed for younger audiences, and displays a valued moral lesson about justice for all.
Final rating: 6/10
Written By: Alexander Senese- Jones, July 2014