Aquarela started 15 minutes late because the producer decided to introduce the movie by giving its entire thesis. As she did so, I had a sinking feeling the movie might be shit. This was compounded when the opening theme music, repeated intermittently throughout the film, was a bash of utterly shit nu metal. When it became apparent I was going to be in for 1 hour and 40 minutes of shots of creaking ice and crashing waves, I sat back resigned to the situation.
I don’t have a problem with long slow movies with no traditional plot, characters or dialogue, but they have to be good. Even a middling movie with a clear story and punchy dialogue will carry you along, but if a contemplative helioscope of a movie isn’t good, it is interminable. That was this movie. As for a movie told about and through water, I’ve seen it done before and better (The Pearl Button for example).
The only piece of incident throughout the film, and the only part to give me hope for improvement, was of Russian rescue services fishing motors out a frozen lake when eejits thought it’d be wise to drive across it after thaw began. Watching people disappear under the ice in an instant was horrifying. Luckily we didn’t stay with anything that engaging for very long, and swiftly moved on to more creaking icebergs.
If you want to recreate this movie at home, just queue up videos of icebergs on YouTube and play the most deservedly forgettable nu metal from the early 2000s. Same experience.