Fifth about The Seventh

Pedro, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (A Viagem de Pedro)

Pedro, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: the real journey of D. Pedro I, from Brazil back to Portugal, gets heavily fictional undertones in Laís Bodanzky’s film, which leans more into character study territory than anything else. The protagonist, being an emperor, is naturally willful, arrogant, and somewhat insecure. It’s not an easy character to connect with, a blow that is softened by his (for the time) progressive ideas. Acting in general is neither memorably good nor bad. Cauã Reymond does an OK job at creating the complex and unsympathetic protagonist. Luise Heyer and Victoria Guerra are likewise appropriate in creating his first and second wives, as is Rita Wainer playing his famous mistress. Costume and production designs are competent. Cinematographer Pedro J. Márquez emulates the tight quarters of his physical and emotional journeys by shooting the film in an almost square aspect ratio, with naturalistic low lights. The sound work, including the musical score, is quite good in giving the film a proper maritime ambiance and sense of unease.

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