HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ritual, The
Les Girls
Death of Stalin, The
Mission, The
Wild Life, The
Eve of Destruction
Mad Death, The
Lost in Vagueness
Sleeping Beauty
Allure
In Search of Dracula
Fantastic Woman, A
Emmanuelle II
Far from Vietnam
Inherit the Wind
Post, The
King Frat
Commuter, The
Mister Buddwing
Kiki's Delivery Service
Z-O-M-B-I-E-S
Mansfield 66/67
Old Enough
Bleeding Steel
Double Hour, The
My Generation
Geostorm
Pendulum
Certain Magical Index: The Movie - The Miracle of Endymion, A
That Good Night
   
 
Newest Articles
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
   
 
  Aquarius Home Is Where The Heart IsBuy this film here.
Year: 2016
Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Stars: Sonia Braga, Maeve Jinkings, Irandhir Santos, Humberto Carrão, Zoraide Coleto, Carla Reibas, Fernando Teixeira, Buda Lira, Paula De Renor, Barbara Colen, Daniel Porpino, Pedro Queiroz, Germano Melo, Julia Bernat, Thia Perez, Joana Gatis
Genre: Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Recife is a large city by the coast in Brazil, home to both the very wealthy and the very poor, and music critic Clara (Sonia Braga) has made her home by the shore in an old nineteen-forties-era apartment for some decades now, indeed she plans live the rest of her life there. She has reached that stage at age sixty-five when she cannot help but look back on her time on Planet Earth and weigh up where she went right and where she went wrong; she certainly does not regret her devotion to music and her apartment is filled with vinyl and cassettes that she plays every day. She recalls her Aunt Lucia's seventieth back in 1980, and what she must have been thinking as her family celebrated her milestone, and begins to wonder...

Aquarius is a film that would mean a lot more to Brazilians than anyone else, and thanks to a powerhouse performance from local icon Braga, one of the most rounded readings of a character in any film from the twenty-tens, it seemed like a shoo-in for awards season at which many expected it to clean up. However, what an outside observer may not have twigged was that director Kleber Mendonça Filho was putting across a highly-charged political message to his fellow countrymen, a warning of how the corporations and developers were riding roughshod over their society all to ensure they would maximise their already substantial profits, and to Hell with anyone who sought to stand in their way.

Or even stand up for themselves against this onslaught of so-called civic improvement which according to this was seeing perfectly serviceable and habitable property demolished so that far more expensive buildings could be put up in their place. We have all heard the venerable tale of the little old lady who refuses to sell out her apartment when the developers move in after chasing away everyone else with promises of monetary compensation that would represent a pittance compared to how much the corporations would make if their projects went ahead, it happens in real life as well as fiction, so much so that Filho risked turning his production into a cliché, but it's not all about the story, it's how you tell it too.

As a result, Aquarius found itself blackballed by the Brazilian authorities and in effect lost out on its opportunity for, say, an Oscar nomination or two (Braga must have been a strong contender had things have worked out), and in its native land it turned into a cause celebre as Filho and his fellow filmmakers started using it as a support for their political messages against what they regarded as an oppressive government. Of course, once all this happens the benefits of the original work begin to be lost as it becomes an emblem rather than a piece of vital cinema, and it was true a non-Brazilian may watch this and wonder what the fuss was about since issues so local to this were not always going to translate to the worldwide audience. This was where Braga shone, for by keeping the indomitable Clara at the heart of the plot, she offered a way in.

What was densely packed with allusions to how this nation's life was lived grew more understandable because of the leading lady, since the injustice she faces when the developers attempt to force her out of her apartment as she is the sole remaining resident which is standing in their way to make even more moolah was something everyone could relate to. Oddly, Filho also chose to include a healthy (and at times unhealthy) sexual element, which was valid in fleshing out the needs and desires of Clara, but also extended to an orgy scene when the businessmen make life difficult for her by holding a disruptive and deafening party in the place above hers. This was not a sexploitation movie, but that he felt this was necessary spoke to a lapse of judgement as you imagine Aquarius could have been seen by a wider audience had he not put the lurid aspects in as well. Still, it was Braga's show, at least as far as the acting went, proving what many actresses her age do not often get to, that she was as vital as anyone taking the lead in a movie, more so in many cases.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 347 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Mark Scampion
   

 

Last Updated: