Aquarius ★★★★★

Cryptic, passionate, unquieting, allegorical, humane and deeply Brazilian. Kleber Mendonça Filho's 140-minute epic runs smoothly and steadily like a tiny stream of water, unsuspectingly and incredibly patiently deepening towards a gigantic waterfall of catharsis. So irrevocably soaked in symbolism as monumentally emotional, the picture keeps navigating through a wide variety of themes like it's certain that even the most impenetrably metaphorical sequences will be unconsciously assimilated due to the sheer absolute control that its protagonist exercises over the audience, as well as its director has of cinema.

Predatory capitalism, class privilege, racial tensions, generation gap, identity and gender studies, geographical exclusion, sexual revolution, patriarchy, nepotism, shifting family dynamics and conflicting culture habits are sophisticatedly engulfed by, and intertwined in, Aquarius. All articulated by verbal and non-verbal language in equal measure, constructing both one the most overwhelmingly complex cinematic portraits of the country, or at least, of its urban areas, and a mostly universally accessible affectionate tale of a woman not willing to give up of the space she lived most her stories at, in a society that increasingly devalues the importance of social narratives.

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