Much awarded nature documentary AQUARELA stuns and spellbinds the audience with the power of water….
Quite often filmmakers like to inform their public of the technical specifics of their films, because as technology advances, it seems to confer a badge of ‘specialness’. However, AQUARELA is one film where this approach is very justified not just for all the geeks out there, but because, AQUARELA is really stunning because of it.
We’ve all seen water filmed before, storms, ice cliffs, ice bergs and under water, thirty foot -high waves, and waterfalls and whirlpools, but never like this. For AQUARELA was filmed at a boggling 92 frames per second. The result is a symphony made in homage to the power and beauty of water. The film is also a timely reminder, that the power of water is getting more so as sea levels rise, ice melts and hurricanes increase.
If you’re expecting story, this is not for you, but as a piece of visual cinema to enjoy and let literally wash over you, this is a real treat.
However, for now, there’s quite a lot of amusement as the film opens, with several men skidding about the ice, searching for a car that has become trapped under it. Bobbing up and down to check, they look like upended ducks. However, the mood soon turns serious when a car, driven by three young men who have not checked the weather before travelling, falls through a crack to sink below, causing immediate peril, and reminding us of the awesome power of ice and water.
However, this is one of the rare patches in the film that has any dialog at all, so although AQUARELA clearly is about the power of water, it is hard to know any of the more complex motives behind what drove accomplished Russian Director/cinematographer/Editor and writer, Viktor Kovakovskiy to make it. However, the film is such a powerful statement, so beautifully done, with some amazing photography by its maker, that what comes across is the love of water, pure and simple. However, if you’re not into the power of water, you might feel a little disappointed.
Almost coming across like a blend between art installation, and a pop promo, where the performer and star is the water, the film also has a stunning soundtrack, most of which for obvious reasons was added after. However, it masterfully ‘suspends disbelief’ in places, in that the audience feels like they are under the ice, feels like the ice cliff will fall on them. The score, by Finnish heavy metal musician and talented composer, Eicca Toppinen, is also brilliant where it is used.
AQUARELA is in UK Cinemas 13th December 2019