We discuss the ending of the Netflix film The Chalk Line, which will contain spoilers. So be warned. Major plot points ahead!
The Chalk Line, the Spanish Netflix movie, follows a childless couple, Paula (Elena Anaya) and Simone (Pablo Molinero), as they find an adorable but frightened little blonde-haired girl walking down a desolate road at night. After almost being hit by a man on a motorcycle, they take the girl to the hospital. From there, she has mutism and will only move around by drawing and erasing pathways (and drawing again) with a piece of white chalk. The child does not communicate with anyone. The hospital (for reasons that defy explanation) allows the girl to be taken home with the couple as a way to have her become comfortable with her surroundings. She hopes to open up and let officials know who she is and where she came from.
As the story progresses, they discover the girl’s name is Clara. (Only because the girl “reacts” to it in the hospital, however). Also, they uncover she speaks German. However, paranoia builds around the girl. They think she is breaking glass and putting the shards in jars of jam to hurt people. She even “attacks” Paula with a kick. (It was really nothing more than a love tap of a push). There is concern that Paula has lost objectivity toward the girl, particularly because she is going through IVF treatment to get pregnant. One day, Clara goes missing, and they find evidence that she was near a swamp, and the police are currently searching for her body.
Paula finds a picture Clara drew of the window and fish tank. When Paula looks up through the window, she sees her neighbor Eduardo looking back at her. Paula calls the police and then runs into Eduardo’s home. However, the film then flashbacks to when Eduardo kidnapped Clara. He stops his car before reaching a police blockade, turns around, and takes Clara out of the vehicle. He tells her to walk on and follow the chalk line.
This is when Paul and Simone find her. When the story flashes forward, Eduardo attacks Paula when she is in her home with a hatchet, stabs her with it, and it becomes stuck in her right shoulder blade. He then drags her into a secret passageway under the kitchen island that leads to an underground chamber under their house. A trail of blood follows.
It turns out that another person that went missing, Ingrid, was Clara’s mother. (Paula finds this out when she steals case files from the police and has the same “toys” Clara makes daily). Clara escapes and locks Eduardo in with Paula. She manages to draw enough chalk to escape the home. Clara is brave enough to leave the house without having to scribble her escape, no longer afraid of the “monster” that will get her if there is no chalk line to stop them.
Then, it becomes clear that a good marriage is built on great compromises. As Clara yells for Simone from outside, and you can see him from the window on the phone with the police frantically looking for his wife, Eduardo’s wife Claudia walks by. At first, we think she may be a concerned mother and is there to help a scared little girl. However, it becomes clear she knows about her husband’s “hobby,” which brings new meaning to the phrase men and their caves. She calms Clara down, hugs her, and then forcefully picks her up and takes the small child back to her home.
When Eduardo wakes up in the morning, Claudia tells Eduardo that for doing this, he will finance her trips to see her boys and will also provide the finances. He is no longer in charge of where she goes or for how long. He agrees. However, after fixing his breakfast, Claudia is about to leave home for the garden when she stops, frozen. We see Clara’s handprints streak across the glass front door, and a SWAT team enters the house. They demand Eduardo tells them where “they” are.
The Chalk Line ending explained
At first, we are worried there is an ominous ending for The Chalk Line as the police are documenting the chamber with pictures and collecting evidence. There is no sign of Paula and Clara. However, the film ends with Clara and Paula FaceTiming each other over the computer. Clara looks happy and is back in Germany, living with her grandmother. When Paula stands, we see she is pregnant.
This is significant because the film’s central theme is that Paula is a mother without a child. If you believe good deeds go unpunished, The Chalk Line goes from bleak to hopelessly optimistic since she now will have a daughter of her own. You will also notice that Clara is happy and smiling, which is essential for a girl her age. If you watched the Netflix documentary Girl in the Picture, psychologists note that a sign of a child being abused is not smiling in pictures. At the end of The Chalk Line, Clara is in a loving and supportive environment.
What did you think of the ending of The Chalk Line? Comment below.