In Italian crime drama Yara, 13-year-old Yara Gambirasios goes missing while on her way home from the gym. The police are called in to investigate, and an extensive search takes place.
Phones are tapped, buildings are searched, and everyone close to Yara comes under the spotlight. The case catches the attention of the media and quickly becomes a nationwide story.
At the heart of the investigation is local prosecutor, Letizia Ruggeri, who works tirelessly to uncover the whereabouts of the missing teenager. However, with little information to go on, the case makes no progress – even going so far as to arrest the wrong suspect.
But then the investigation suddenly turns a corner, when by chance, Yara’s body is discovered. This discovery leads to new evidence, that may prove vital to tracking down her murderer.
Directed by Marco Tullio Giordana, Yara stars Isabella Ragonese and Sandra Toffolatti. The movie is based on the true and tragic case of the disappearance of Yara Gambirasio, and is available to stream on Netflix from today.
This is a fascinating, yet bleak story, and one which sets out the key details of this real-life murder. The film covers all of the major points of the crime, from the disappearance, through to the recovery of Yara’s body, as well as the arrest of the man who is convicted of her murder.
For those unfamiliar with the case, Yara recreates the entire timeline, presenting a beginning, a middle, and an end, giving the audience the whole story. However, while the movie manages to relay all the information in an easy-to-follow account, it largely feels like a surface level retelling, rather than an in-depth piece.
The Yara Gambirasio case has a number of interesting elements to it, all of which are covered in the movie. But these elements are added at such a quick pace that the impact doesn’t quite register in the way it should.
For example, the arrest of a suspect who turns out to be an innocent man, is dealt with in a matter of minutes, when this aspect of the story could have been explored further. The same can be said for the discovery of the crime scene, which suddenly just happens, with no build up.
I understand this is a real-life account, so the director is trying to remain sensitive to the case and stick to the key points, but at the same time this is a movie and therefore a dramatization of the event, so a little exploration is needed. Everything feels somewhat rushed, and I’m not entirely sure why.
The movie clocks in at just over the 90-minute mark, which seems far too short. I can’t help but feel that this story needed more time to develop, in order to build the case.
Yara’s parents feature in the story, but they are largely kept in the background, when really they should have been a significant focus. Again, I feel this is all due to a desire to tell this story in a short space of time, but I find it rather baffling they barely get any screen time.
The eventual capture and trial of Yara’s murderer is also dealt with fairly swiftly. It all feels brief and rather neatly wrapped up, without much room for discussion.
Once again, this is a movie, so I expect to see more exploration, more detail, and far more information than what is presented. What is here is adequate, but it’s not quite enough.
Taking a step back from the story, what does work here is the cast, who are all very strong, with Isabella Ragonese putting in a fine turn as Letizia Ruggeri. The film also looks good, with some great shots, really capturing the mood and tone of the story.
But despite some very bright spots, I can’t help but feel this movie would have worked better as a television mini-series, where it would have had more room for growth. In short: this retelling of this terrible case has all the right components, but it needed to be fleshed out.
Watchable, but not a definitive exploration of this case.
One Response to Review: Yara (2021)
What a breath of fresh qur that a good movie was released in 2021 during the pandemic. So many bad movies are rushed to streaming that this, movie/documentary, albeit brief, was worth missing dinner as l could not stop watching. Great production, acting, casting and more. I expected to turn this off and give it a thumbs down within 10 minutes. In reality, l missed dinner as it was captivating. Yes, being so brief makes it look way to easy but so glad l happened upon this movie. A breath of fresh air in this year of bad movies that never should gave been released at any time. The pandemic really changed whst hit the screens.
I highly recommend watching this movie. It leaves me wanting many more in depth details and perhaps a photo of the real people they represented.
How did a woman anywhere find the funding to start her own DNA search to find this killer and prosecute him? Thst normally only happens in fairy tales.
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