Anyone without an intricate knowledge of Brazilian politics will struggle to understand the full extent of the filmmakers plans
There is a cavernously deep message running through Aquarius. One that spans politics and society and a message that was heard very strongly in its native country of Brazil. It caused issues with the government and the heart of the film is so intrinsically political.
Aquarius follows Clara (Sonia Braga), a retired music critic living in an apartment block on the coastline of the Brazilian city of Recife. Every other apartment is vacant, bought up by a construction corporation, but Clara does not want to sell. As the corporation push for the sale, Clara stands her ground and ends in a tumultuous battle of increasingly misguided actions.
The cloud that looms over Aquarius is it’s incredibly strong ties to the politics of the Brazilian government. It is seen as a reaction to the volatile political landscape within Brazil, and outside of the county this causes issues. Anyone without an intricate knowledge of Brazilian politics will struggle to understand the full extent of the filmmakers plans, which certainly harms the message considering it is so core to the film. The filmmakers avidly protested against the Brazilian regime and however vital this is in its home country, it doesn’t translate smoothly outside of its borders.
However, this doesn’t mean there is nothing to take from Aquarius. Sonia Braga is wonderful as Clara in a really powerful performance. This is clearly a woman who enjoys being the underdog and her resilience is what makes the film as interesting as it is , yet the film leads up to something which can only be described as retaliation and it certainly tarnishes the build-up somewhat.
Aquarius is a very interesting modern day story with deep political ties, and all it needed was to separate itself slightly and bring out some of the messages onto a more relatable scale elsewhere.