Clara, a 65 year old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-story ...
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While both participating in a production of "Death of a Salesman," a teacher's wife is assaulted in her new home, which leaves him determined to find the perpetrator over his wife's traumatized objections.
Clara, a 65 year old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-story building, built in the 1940s, in the upper-class, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. All the neighboring apartments have already been acquired by a company which has other plans for that plot. Clara has pledged to only leave her place upon her death, and will engage in a cold war of sorts with the company. This tension both disturbs Clara and gives her that edge on her daily routine. It also gets her thinking about her loved ones, her past and her future.
The film sparked controversy after it received an 18+ rating from Brazil's Ministry of Justice for "explicit sex" and "drugs", though the censorship - which restricts the film's audiences to people over 18 only - is extremely rare in the country and suggests that it might not have been based solely on the film's contents. Many classified the move as a sabotage and foul play by the government against the film in an attempt to damage its commercial prospects in retaliation for the film's Cannes protest. On appeal, the film was re-rated to 16. See more »
It's impressive what people say about lack of education, and they always refer to poor people, but lack of manners isn't in poor people, it's in rich, well educated people like you, the elite, who think they are elite, who think they are privileged, who don't stand in line, you know? People like you who took a "business" course, but lack basic human decency, who have no character, you know? No character, no I mean, you do have a character; your character is money, all you've got is your ...
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Quiet, precise and profoundly critical, Aquarius is a sharp depiction of an ever changing, ever adapting Brazilian society, increasingly subject to a disproportionate capitalism that is bulldozing over identity, history and sentiment.
Split into three chapters - one of them construed as a prologue - there would not be a better way of introducing who this(ese) character(s) is(are) and setting up what their nature is, what motivates them and what kind of culture, family values and roots they hold throughout. Led by a powerful and heartfelt performance by Sónia Braga that single-handedly carries the film, meticulously embodying all of the character's traits in her continuous struggles with motherhood, disease, change and most importantly time lapse. Her artistic preferences and passions show how a deeply and typically traditional society can still honor and maintain their culture while not being averse to technology, change and evolution.
At the end of the day, Aquarius is an elegant tale of how opinions and values change with time and how easily the current generation might be bent and influenced by money and greed and how that greed can easily stampede over traditionalism. A definite must see.
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