Clara is a small film by a 22-year old first time director Akash Sherman, that tackles a huge subject – searching for intelligent life in the universe. The film attains it’s objective by inserting a slightly mystical romance in the middle. A Canadian romantic sci-fi film shot in and around Toronto.
A data driven objective astronomer Dr. Isaac Bruno (Patrick J. Adams, Suits) is despondent after his marriage falls apart. In the the first scene Issac mathematically proves to his class that the chances of obtaining love is zero. An amusing scene. However, his growing cynical and depressive behavior result in him leaving the University and losing access to the telescopes. Still obsessed with searching for intelligent life somewhere in the universe he posts signs looking for an unpaid Intern to help him process data.
Clara (Troian Bellisario, Pretty Little Liars) is the only person who applies. She is a homeless, uneducated drifter who talks her way in using her gorgeous, stray purebred (?) Collie (uncredited). This very unlikely Intern Clara is taught to find the find the dip in the light data when an unseen planet passes in front of it’s sun. The dubious science is not the important part of this film. The growing relationship between the objective data-drive scientist and the ever wandering artist Clara – who believes the universe is too beautiful to be just random – their relationship becomes the focus of the film.
The film progresses with a little science and a lot of character development. You slowly learn of Isaac and Clara’s faults and pluses. Clara using her innocent charm and mysticism soon shows Isaac the way. You can tell this movie is written by a male. This angel Clara comes into this man’s life at the right time. Gives him the answer to the universe, and she departs at just the right time, for his benefit. It would have been better if Clara was a fantasy of his imagination instead of a real women. However, this is a first time director so writing is more superficial and straightforward. But it is a pleasing story.
When the romantic part of the movie reaches it’s climax, the science part takes over. Isaac & Clara’s relationship bears fruit, resulting in a wonderful thing occurring.
Clara is slightly manipulative in how the relationship reaches it’s climax, which may offend some people, it offended me at first. But then as in any good romance movie, there is that feeling – that happy romantic feeling – that satisfies at the end. But Clara’s good feeling is slightly different, slightly more. This movie’s climax is a mix of romance good feeling, regret, wonderment, excitement about the unknown, and the awe of science – this complex emotion saved the film for me and made it worth watching – but I like science.