The Chalk Line — the Spanish movie’s ending, explained

The Chalk Line

Originally titled as Jaula, this 2022 Spanish movie is about a strange girl who stays inside a chalk-line and doesn’t speak. Let’s find out who she is.

Spoilers ahead!

An accident and a girl

One night, Simon and Paula witness an accident on road. A young girl is walking in the middle of the road, dazed and soon, a motorcycle comes from the front and skids off right around her. The couple take the girl to the hospital quickly, saving her life.

The next day at hospital they see her screaming and not co-operating. She’s just sitting in a small square drawn with chalk, unwilling to get out of it. The hospital staff named her Clara as she hasn’t spoken to them at all.

Paula rushes in and hold the girl and she calms. On their next visit, they see her tied to her bed for “her own safety”. Her psychologist recommends that since Clara’s comfortable with them, they take her in to help her open up.

Having no kids of their own, the couple agrees.

Clara’s life and growth at their home

Paula and Simon make changes to help Clara feel safe at their home. They draw a chalk line around her bed and make conversations. The scenes speed up and we see Clara reaching out for food herself and even playing.

One day, experimentally, Paula widens the chalk line and Clara responds well to it. Soon enough, the chalk box is widened throughout the house and they start living like a family. Some of their friends come over one evening and they ask about Clara.

Clara also speaks some unintelligible words when her psychologist comes and provokes her which she records.

Some bloody incidents take place

A pregnant friend, Claudia, comes over with her daughter of the same age as Clara to meet her. While the girls are in the other room and ladies are having toast, Claudia feels something in her mouth and takes out a small piece of glass from her bloody mouth.

Paula takes her to the doctor and at home, Simon suspects Clara for it. He does find Paula’s overbearing care for her weird. Clara seems dangerous now. Checking the words she spoke, they find it to be German- words like fear, punishment etc.

We are also shown Paula to be taking timely injections secretly. They are for her fertility treatment- which they agreed to stop- but Paula doesn’t, in order to surprise Simon, who finds out about them. This- and Clara’s situation- brings a wedge between the two.

Soon, Paula has the same experience as her friend, when she swallows a piece of glass from her coffee. She runs to the bathroom to take it out but as she come back, Clara seems to have run off.

A police investigation ensues

Everyone except Paula thinks that she’s run away. Police, along with the German ones, start looking for her. That day back at home Paula gets a call where she hears Clara. However, the police finds that the call came from Paula’s phone. She’s sent in for a psychological evaluation.

As that’s over, Paula sneaks out of the station alone with some case files from the desk they were at. She comes across a murder case picture with paper dolls, the way Clara used to make, and goes to the doctor for autopsy report. She tells her that the teen had a lazy eye and was assaulted sexually. Another case of 2012 shows a missing German girl, with an eye patch, kidnapped from a beach in Maraga.

Shocked, Paula comes home and looks at a drawing Clara made. Earlier she wasn’t able to understand it but looking at it now, she sees that Clara was pointing towards a window of a neighbour’s house.

The neighbour is none other than Eduardo Olivares, their friend.

A chaotic climax begins

Based on this information, Paula calls the police and reports him as a suspect. She herself goes to his home and her pretence is all too clear to him and he hits her collarbone. He drags her to the basement where Clara is and chains her in a dark room.

She confronts him about the kidnapped girl, Ingrid, and he goes out to look for the files she has. Meanwhile, Paula asks Clara to hide and then escape at an opportune moment. That comes when he comes back and, in a fit, looks around then badgers Paula.

Clara, using the chalk, escapes but can’t get further because of earthy ground. She tries shouting at Simon in his window and slowly takes a leap of faith and steps out of the chalk line. Again, near home, she shouts but he’s on a call. Meanwhile, Maite, Eduardo’s wife comes and takes the struggling girl back in.

A dramatic conclusion to the chaos- who is Clara?

Soon, the scene shifts with Maite giving conditions to her previously controlling husband. In return for her access to see her boys, she keeps the basement a secret. They’re just setting down to eat food when police comes. Clara’s chalky handprints were on the door and that made the police suspicious. The police are seen investigating the now empty room for stuff and forensic. We don’t know where Clara and Paula are.

Eduardo had kidnapped Ingrid, raped, tortured and then killed her. It is also revealed after an hour in the movie that he put shards of glass in Paula’s home and food and made the call from her phone. Clara is his and Ingrid’s child.

At the end, we see Paula on a video call with Clara who’s in Hamburg at her grandparents who never stopped looking for their daughter. Paula’s baby bump is also visible as she goes around to call Simon.