A beautiful woman with a tragic past marries the owner of a small shipyard in an island, and they set up residence in a poor village. Besides not being able to adapt to the place, the partner of her husband becomes hostile to her presence.
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Marina is a beautiful and perfect young woman, daughter of leprous parents, living in an institution. She sees the chance to leave the place when the owner of a small shipyard in an island proposes to marry her. She accepts, marries him without love and moves to the small sea coastal village, where the gossiper dwellers make comments about her. The disgusting partner of her scum husband tries to rape Marina when her husband is traveling. Later, her husband dies in a boat accident, and a young and handsome sailor arrives in the island. Marina feels a great attraction for him, but is blackmailed by the former partner of her husband about the health problems in her family and her origins.Written by
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As an important reference in Brazilian cinema for being the very first feature film production of the defunct Vera Cruz studio, "Caiçara" deserves a lot of praise for being a small artistic film made by a majority of newcomers in the film media. It's safe to say that almost 100% of the cast, directors and crew made their film debuts with this film and it's hard to deny that they achieved something significant. However, as much as I tried, I couldn't like the picture neither endorse it completely. Adolfo Celi's movie is just erratic, jumped in parts and one of those that leave you bored halfway through. It's not all wrong but there's many problems that affect its fully enjoyment thus becoming a weak film.
The story of Marina (Eliane Lage), a beautiful poor girl whose parents died with leper which she thinks it's an obstacle for her in dealing with anyone around her, and José Amaro (Abilio Pereira de Almeida), a shipyard owner who decides to marry her and take her to Ilhabela, a coastal town in São Paulo. The marriage isn't perfect, since she's very retracted and her husband is dominating figure who vanishes from view to party hard with other girls in another town. Marina's presence disturbs José's business partner Manuel (Carlos Vergueiro), clearly infatuated and lost in lust for this pretty woman, always trying to make some moves on her. In between this strange love triangle, there's the effects of a "witch", her grandson who is possibly Marina's only friend; a third guy who comes in her life later on; tragedies and revelations.
"Caiçara" (a term that means "people who live by the sea") was a nice picture until its halfway, despite some bumps and fast beginning - it's hard to understand why José wanted to marry Marina since she was the talk of the town due to her parents death and the whole prejudice involving leper. Then, I just couldn't care because the story kept going on and on with almost no purpose and the characters didn't satisfied in any way. By the time the film started to present beautiful and lovely moments it just felt wrong. Previous to that, we have a bunch of misogynist men, and that also includes the third male character, a sailor, who not only is poorly introduced in empty earlier sequences and than later we discover the reason why he's there but also presents himself with similar chauvinistic traits as the other guys but somehow, with no explanation given, becomes the ideal man for Marina. And there's also some logical errors, unexplained situations that affect the film.
If the movie slightly succeeds is because of its depiction of the coastal people and their culture, we truly feel immersed in that with their music, festivals and stuff; and also the enigmatic Marina, greatly played by Eliane Lage, aka as the Brazilian Greta Garbo since she made a handful of films and at the peak of her beauty she vanished from movies (which she claims was only made due to insistence of her then husband Tom Payne, co-director of this film). Lage doesn't look like Garbo, it's more like Marlee Matlin, a mesmerizing beauty that doesn't allow viewers to take their eyes from her. Her character was the one that kept me fully invested in always trying to figure out why she's so afraid of her past and afraid of getting people to know her, believing that her parents disease could affect any possible new outcome in her life. The acting, besides Lage, was tremendously good but they don't save the picture from its clichéd melodrama.
I was expecting to enjoy it more, to find some meaning despite some lovely scenes and an actually good ending. It was done before, with better and more quality. Overrated seal for this one. 5/10
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