Wednesday, June 04, 2014

A Paradox in a candy store

Hi guys! This is a follow up to the ‘Hidden between the lines’ post I made, in which I take a closer look at the talk that Clara had with Marina, where she said she couldn’t leave Cadu. The scene I’m going into now is the one where Clara visits Juliana and they have an interesting conversation. It’s one of the best conversations so far to this day, even as I am writing this little author’s note which is on the day I'm posting. Something completely random first, even though Marina is not even in the scene, I added a screenshot near the end of this post that she's in, just cause I simply could not leave this post Marina-less. But like I said, it has nothing to do with the recap itself, even though Marina is of course the source of Clara's issues. Let's get to what actually matters which is that this scene is a defining moment in Clara’s journey of self-acceptance. I think it’s amazing. Let’s get to it, shall we?

The conversation starts on a light note, Clara has presumably just found out about Juliana’s epic love child and this is the first time she’s had the chance to talk to her about it. She offers her a hearty hug.

‘I can’t believe we’ll have another child in our lives.’ She says happily.

‘See, just by accepting that I was going to have a child, he came.’ Juliana replies as the two look at the children playing.

Clara is elated. When looking at Juliana while she hears her speak, she can practically feel the happiness in her place, she is squeezing her eyes, even biting her lip. She knows how much Juliana had to give up it, the sacrifices she made for it. Now it’s paying off. She is genuinely happy for her aunt. Also admiring her for it.

‘You see what our minds do to us?’ Clara says, giving us a nice little point to make a little mark to come back to later.

After cheering on the kids before they run out of the room, she turns around immediately, taps Juliana on the arm and states, ‘I think you are free now.’ She even makes a half move to tap her before they are out but waits for another moment. She really wanted this talk.

By stating this, she compliments her aunt. She has known for a long time how much Juliana wanted it, she knows she had to fight to get there and by saying that she acknowledges to Juliana that it worked. She did it. She’s complimenting her but also admiring her at the same time. The fact that she doesn’t waste a second before initiating the conversation shows how much she needed this talk. Clara wanted to see her because of Ju’s fun baby news, but she also wanted to talk to her because of questions floating around in her head that she needed answers to. Up till this point she didn’t even realize she had them or how badly she needed this talk. She still doesn’t, but she will soon.

She continues, ‘You did exactly what you wanted to do and things just flowed.’ She’s gesturing animatedly, she’s so eager to talk to her that she can’t find the words, which means she actually didn’t give it a whole lot of thought prior to this and it was a subconscious need to consult her aunt. Without knowing which questions she had, instinctively somehow she knew it was her aunt that would have the answers.

Juliana responds, ‘Yes, I broke and set everything up again.’ She says it jokingly, they share a tiny giggle about it. It’s important to note Juliana’s back story here. Most of you will know, but I will tell you in a very tiny nutshell in case you don’t, because she has gone through her share of hardship. Three miscarriages, divorced Nando because she wanted kids, he didn’t, she kicked his ass out, while her own family didn’t necessarily believe she was doing the right thing. It caused a certain emotional distance in the relationship with her sisters and their children, because Nando is a good guy who they thought didn’t deserve this. In other words, nobody understood. Neither did Clara, she even tried to convince Nando to not give up on the marriage but he already knew it was hopeless. This was the day after the exposition where Clara and Marina met, after she went to her house and helped her take a bath. Marriage was such an important thing to her back then, she couldn’t even imagine anyone just giving up on it, especially not for the reasons Juliana had. She wasn’t open to them yet, she couldn’t see them. She can totally see them now.

Juliana continues, ‘It wasn’t easy for me.’ Up to this point the conversation has been casual enough, but when Juliana says , ‘A lot of people turned their backs on me, everyone.’ that’s when Clara has a huge emotional response.

Clara is immediately on the verge of tears, she holds her breath for a moment, before she heavily releases it. She also shows a touch of relief. This subject she fears, but she also needs to know about it. She’s relieved it’s being brought up. She fears it's cause of what Juliana faced, she’s afraid she’ll have to face the same. She doesn’t know what to do.

A lot of people turned their backs on Juliana. Everyone. Clara knows the relationship with Marina is powerful, so powerful she one day has to confront it. She already suspects that once she does, she’ll have to confront a lot more about herself, namely the fact that she definitely loves women. Or at least this woman. She hears Ju talk about people turning their backs and Clara is already looking ahead to the day she has to face the same thing and it scares her. She’s scared of losing people, disappointing people, hurting people, simply by not being who she thought she was, who they thought she was. By not being perfect.

Juliana continues, ‘And there are still people here who think I’m crazy.’

Clara shakes her head slowly, ‘I can imagine,’ she can feel for her, she fears it for herself. Then she drifts away into her own thoughts and she connects that to her own life. She stares down at the table a bit, past Juliana even into the distance, ‘because every change has its price depending on how bold it might be.’

You can just see her relate that to her own situation. She looks back at Juliana when she finishes, ‘And sometimes the price is too high.’

It’s like she’s excusing herself to Juliana as she searches her eyes. Like she’s trying to convince her aunt that it really was too high, but I think she’s trying to convince herself even more. She made a choice, she chose the price was too high, she chose not to do it, but it’s like she’s trying to get recognition from Juliana that she did the right thing. She doesn’t believe she did the right thing, she thinks she should have done another thing. She looks down again, she’s breaking eye contact cause she’s about to confess something that she’s not proud of. She can’t face Juliana’s eyes so she is staring right through her. She presses her lips together, fighting tears, fighting her emotions, then raises both her eyebrows in a way that almost says, ‘Well, that’s what I did, silly me, here we are now, now I have to live with it.’

‘I rehearsed, I rehearsed, I rehearsed,’ She keeps avoiding Juliana’s eyes, afraid to see judgment, she already judged her own decision, she knows her aunt is a free enough spirit, she would have chosen the other one. Even though she knows Juliana probably won’t judge her, she’s judging herself. It’s like she’s avoiding her own judgment. She is ashamed. While she repeats the words she’s fighting to keep her voice in check. She breathes in deeply, like she’s gathering courage to face Juliana again and to confess the next words. She almost strings the words together with the ones she spoke before, ‘I thought I was the bravest person in the world.’

She’s still confessing, she feels silly about this, she even smiles slightly as if she’s trying to tell Juliana she knows it’s silly, like she was silly for even thinking she was the bravest person. She shakes her head, releases a breath like it needed out simply to keep her voice in check. Because she is smiling it almost sounds like a laugh. It partly is, mocking almost, she is mocking herself for her own silliness. It’s also trying to cover up the shame she feels, a way for her to not let her voice fail her. It’s also almost her giving in, resigning to the fact that she’s going to admit the next part. She pauses for a moment to get herself together slightly, but also cause it’s hard to get it out, admitting this part hurts her even more.

‘And then I failed.’ she concludes, nodding to herself and to Juliana, confirming her own failure. In her own eyes, this is the worst part. She is looking at Juliana, almost brave, she’s facing her, looking her straight in the eyes. She just opened herself up, she looks vulnerable, but really honest, very open. It’s also a look of relief, it’s finally out, she can finally talk about this, about who she is, what she feels. It’s like she revealing who she thinks she is to Juliana. ‘There you go, this is me, the real me.’

Back at the restaurant they had a talk after Nando and Juliana’s divorce. Clara uttered all kinds of things, about how men were supposed to know more and all that, Juliana thought it was a bunch of bullshit and we all agreed with her on that one. She said she never knew Clara thought that way and that she didn’t know if she liked this Clara. But this time Clara has confessions. She is confessing how she did change, but turns out she wasn’t up to the challenge. She looked up to Juliana then, she looks up to her now. She showed respect and admiration immediately for doing what she dared, she is surprised she actually pulled it off, those same things that she couldn’t, that she failed to do. Revealing herself like this, revealing a side of you that you think has utterly failed, to someone you highly admire, that’s one of the most vulnerable positions you can put yourself in. Before the conversation started she probably didn’t even know she was going to do it, but she finds herself laying everything out in the open here. A confession like that doesn’t just come out of nowhere, it was on the surface and it has been on the surface for a while. It has been bugging her, she has been struggling with it, this has been such a knot in her stomach that she was aching to untie it even if it meant opening herself up completely and putting herself in the most vulnerable position she could. She simply had to get it out.

Juliana hears all this, can see how hard this is for Clara, how hard she is struggling to keep it together. She knows what it is that Clara is talking about, but she also wants Clara to say it out loud so she asks her ‘What are you talking about?’

She says it calmly, inviting, not judging, she’s trying to reassure her, ‘It’s ok to tell me this.’

Clara averts her eyes again while she replies, ‘About my failure, my personal defeat,’ she avoids Juliana’s because she’s ashamed. While she is searching for the next words to use, she looks for Ju’s eyes twice, but only for a fraction of second, before she turns them away again. She does look at her when she finally found the word to use, ‘my cowardice.’

Juliana remembers the talk they had in the restaurant, decides to give the elephant in the conversation a name, ‘Are you talking about that photographer?’ Clara has trouble keeping her voice in check throughout all this. Admitting to your own failure isn’t something that comes easily. She looks down when she confirms this. ‘Also.’

She then inhales deeply as she continues, ‘But I am talking mainly about me, you know?’ She looks at Juliana again. ‘I wasn’t strong enough.’ she is emphasizing the strong part, then pauses for a moment and it’s like she is searching for the words, ‘to understand myself.’

She even leans in as she says it and she gets a little frustrated as she goes on, ‘Now I’m all doubts, guilt, fear.’ Her eyes even seem a little desperate, pleading even, pleading Juliana to give her the solution for this sadness that she is feeling. She’s feeling regret, about not doing the thing she planned to do. The thing she backed out of. She regrets not doing it.

Juliana can see the sadness and desperation and it’s hurting her, seeing Clara like this, since she was always the one searching for happiness. She reaches for Clara’s hand off-screen as she tries to console her. ‘No, not you Clarinha, you can’t. You are the most enlightened person in this family.’ She almost begs her to not give up on herself.

Clara is shaking her head, she doesn’t believe it anymore. She’s squeezing her lips together tightly. Even rolls her eyes. It’s a kind of hopelessness, she’s lost. She’s full of regret of what she did, or rather, what she didn’t do, she’s feeling so hopeless now because of it and it hasn’t done wonders for her self image. It’s also as if she’s rolling her eyes, trying to say, ‘Yeah long ago, not anymore.’

Not seeking her own happiness makes her a failure in her own eyes, it was a personal defeat. A coward. That is how she sees herself. The situation as it is now is not only hurting her cause she loves someone and can’t be with her, it also severely affects her self-image.

Juliana finishes, ‘You are very committed to joy. No lady, no.’ She’s really trying to boost her spirit here, Clara is completely down, so sad, so desperate, so hopeless in the situation she’s in now. Clara is shaking her head, doesn't believe anymore what Juliana said.

‘That Clara is gone, no one knows where she went.’ She’s completely denying her happiness here. Clara, the woman who’s all about happiness, who’s so ambitious to be happy, always sees life in positive ways, always tries to make the best of it. Now she’s sitting here, holding back her tears, admitting to her aunt that she’s made a mistake and it’s made her so unhappy. That she’s regretting it, that she screwed it up, that she’s miserable. It’s heartbreaking. She’s so desperate. She’s completely lost in her own web of responsibilities, the web she thought of avoiding but changed her mind and crashed straight into it. Now she is stuck.

She’s happier than she’s ever been with Marina, but at the same time she’s not happy at all. With her new and improved self, her conflicting emotions and feelings, she hasn’t found a way yet to make those two see eye to eye. This new Clara is why she’s loved herself lately like never before, one she could never let go of again, but she’s torn in more ways than one, she doesn’t know how to get out of it.

Juliana is doing what she can to make her see that it’s not too late, Clara is so lost now, but she doesn’t have to be. Juliana knows this, now she wants to make her see it too. There’s still a way. ‘If I can have Jairo in my life, why can’t you have a woman?’

During the last bit, Juliana quickly checks to see if there is no one around, then lowers her voice as she whispers the last bit, about being with a woman. It’s not that Juliana thinks it’s a big deal, but it’s more like respecting Clara’s privacy here. She assumes correctly that Clara doesn’t want anyone to hear this, assumes correctly that she has been keeping this a secret, otherwise it wouldn’t be bottled up like this and coming out like a waterfall overflowing a blockade. The blockade is finally broken, it’s coming out like a flood. Juliana does lower her voice so that no one can hear it, but while she is asking Clara why she couldn’t be with a woman, she does shake her head at the last bit, showing her niece that it’s not that big of a deal. Everything in her posture is telling Clara this is not a huge terrible thing, something that Clara has been telling herself it is.

Clara’s voice goes a bit higher when she responds, even more desperation comes out while she answers, ‘But it’s not that simple,’ she looks around very shortly, as if she’s a bit surprised Juliana doesn’t understand why. She finds this very logical herself, her reason for not being with Marina. She’s been raised with the belief that marriage is everything, it’s holy, how could you possibly even consider just going for something else. Especially when the guy you’re married to now has a heart problem. With all the frustration she has in her, she exclaims, ‘I have Cadu.’ Like she thinks it is totally obvious.

‘You got rid of Nando, but I can’t do that to Cadu because I love him.’ she then continues, even more frustrated, gesturing animatedly. Juliana replies with, ‘I spent a lot of time thinking I loved Nando, but it wasn’t love, it was habit.’

Clara has been telling herself she loves Cadu and she believes it. It’s true also, a big part of her even. But Ju also has a counter for that. She thought the same. The exact same thing. Turns out she wasn’t happy. She was just used to a routine cause it was safe. She also had no comparison, just an instinct that told her to take this jump. Clara has had that same instinct, but she’s also had fear, fear to dive into the deep, not knowing for sure what lies on the other end. She thinks Juliana didn’t love Nando so she was able to just toss him out. Clara still loves Cadu, so she’s not in the same position. She feels their situations aren't completely the same. Juliana tossed Nando out, she was able to. Clara can’t kick Cadu out, cause she loves him. She’ll continue to think she loves him until she is able to compare being with him to being with Marina.

She’s so frustrated cause it’s actually a burden right now. She neglected to do the thing she was going to do, whatever that was, and it’s left her frustrated. She has Cadu, she loves him, but she’s frustrated. She knows she has a choice to make before she knows who she loves more, but now she’s forced to postpone the choice because of his condition and it’s left her very unhappy. It’s frustrating, not knowing, she wishes she made the choice long ago. She wishes she did the thing that would have given her a comparison, that would have enabled her to make the choice, she missed her window, she chickened out. Now she’s stuck in a situation of not knowing, of not being sure, caring for a guy you loved for ten years, cause you care about him enough not to abandon him at a delicate moment like this, when he’s so sick.

After Juliana says she misinterpreted her feelings for Nando, Clara keeps trying to prove that their situations can’t be compared, she says, ‘My feeling for Cadu might have changed, I don’t know.’ When she says she doesn’t know she looks at Juliana briefly, showing she knows something changed, something is different, but she’s not sure how or what. The way she says it is also a way to tell Juliana that she doesn’t want to get into that part right now, she says it quickly, then gets to the part that to her, matters most. She finds Juliana’s eyes, breathes out heavily, her shoulders drop, it hides some sadness, some resigning when she says it's still love.

Juliana has a great little moment here, as she leans back in her seat, a tiny knowing smile on her face. She's connected the dots in her head, understands the problem, knows exactly what Clara should be doing. This is when she decided what advice she is going to give her.

Clara goes on to say that he is sick now, she says it with worry in her voice and in her eyes, the way she says it shows that she indeed cares about him, she feels bad for him. She doesn’t want him to be sick, he’s such a proud man, he even asked her not to tell anybody he couldn’t do his manly duties, he’s proud, but now he’s weak. She hates seeing him like this. She might not have the belief anymore that men are above women, but she cares about him enough to feel bad for him, knowing he is of that mindset and right now he is weak. It’s a nice contradiction. She doesn’t agree with it anymore, it bugs her that he still thinks that way, but she cares enough to feel bad for him, knowing in his own eyes, he’s weak like this and he feels like less of a man.

She says he needs her, then she screws up her face and her voice goes a few pitches up, she’s confessing again, ‘I feel bad.’

She believes it when she says that it’s still love but at the same time she knows there is something different. She can see the grass on the other side. All her instincts are telling her she likes that shade of green a whole lot better than the faded version that other people have been forcing her to walk on. She feels bad for feeling like she does. For feeling for Marina like she does, for wishing she’d jumped ship a while ago, then she wouldn’t be in this situation. Then she wouldn’t be responsible, then she would have been with Marina, then she wouldn’t have been unhappy. She feels bad for herself, she feels sorry for herself, cause she’s stuck. She feels bad for feeling sorry for herself, she’s been telling herself she doesn’t have the right to. But she still feels it. She wants to do the right thing and she will, taking care of him when he needs her, she didn’t bail when she could have, now she’s in it for the long run. She accepted that, but she hates it. She feels bad that she hates it. That she feels sorry for herself.

Juliana then continues to tell her what we all wanted someone to do, ‘There’s only one way to figure this out, Clara, it’s trying it out.’

Clara’s reaction is fantastic, she’s biting her lip, still in that ‘I feel so guilty for not wanting to be where I am’ spot and the moment Juliana tells her to try it out, she stops mid bite, her head jerks up, she snaps to attention, stops biting her lip and looks at Juliana as if she was not expecting that response at all.

Juliana continues, ‘Stay with her, give it a try.’

Clara has the most incredulous expression on her face, she’s looking at Juliana like she just said the most ridiculous thing she could ever think of. She’s simply surprised that anyone would actually give her this advice. She didn’t think anyone would understand. It’s exactly what she wants to hear but she doesn’t feel she is allowed to think it so she responds in the way she thinks she should.

Her voice is louder again, she was snapped to reality, taken out of that ‘I feel bad for myself’ state, when she responds like she can’t believe Juliana would suggest it, yet it’s also kind of hopeful, but above all, surprised. ‘Do you think I should cheat?’ She then looks at the door that the kids just disappeared into, making sure nobody is suddenly running in through it. Then she lowers her voice because to her this has always been the forbidden option. ‘On my husband?’ she whispers. It’s almost like she can’t grasp the thought of actually doing it, although the thought has been playing in her head, ever since Marina brought it up. She never considered it though, not until now. She didn’t expect anyone to encourage her to do it.

Juliana is absolutely certain of herself when she replies, ‘You already did it thousand times in your thoughts. So? You did it with your mind, now do it with your whole body. Do it right.’ Her delivery is amazing, she’s not saying it like she’s not sure of it, she’s telling Clara in a way that tells Clara that she is absolutely sure she should do this. It’s not something she has any doubts about, she wants to make sure Clara gets that message. If Juliana had been doubtful, hesitant, more like ‘maybe you should consider doing it’ it wouldn’t have been strong enough. She is now trying to convince Clara to follow her instincts as well. She will keep doubting herself until she has something to compare it to. She wants to take away that doubt, that pain, but she can only do it by being absolutely convincing. She knows there’s only one way to be sure. Have something to compare with. Try it, do it, find out for yourself. Juliana isn’t buying the weak counter that Clara gives. ‘you want me to cheat on my husband?’ Juliana is all ‘bitch please, you have been doing that a million times already in your head, go find out the real thing.' Since she is cheating with her head, might as well do it with your whole body and get it right.

‘You're crazy.’ Clara responds.

Clara responds by saying you’re crazy, but her whole body responds in a similar manner as it did the second time she met Marina, back in her bedroom after she had fainted at the party. The emotion at the time was very different, back then she had no idea yet what was going on. She knows damn well now. Back then Marina turned on the seduction and turned on Clara along with it. She suddenly felt very hot, released a big sigh and reached for her neck. When Marina asked if she was feeling hot, she nodded and then said no. She then caught her mistake and shook her head, said no again. Her body represents the truth, what she really wants, does, says, thinks.

Here it’s the same way. Her body screams relief. It wants this to be true. She wants to take Ju’s advice. Up until now it’s the only one that sounds like her own instincts, so it’s the only one she is inclined to trust. She says she’s crazy, looking at her in disbelief, but a smile flashes on her face. It’s a smile of gratitude, of relief, of wishful thinking, of hope. She’s grateful that Juliana is thinking of her, of Clara, not of expectations. She’s relieved, cause the thing she’s been wanting to do all this time, the thing she’s been telling herself she couldn’t, the thing that’s been making her feel so guilty for wanting to do, someone is finally telling her ‘it’s ok, you’re not a horrible person, you don’t have to feel guilty, I understand’.

Clara is seeking her own solution by questioning Ju without initially realizing she is looking for answers. She admires her, she respects her. Instinctively she knows that she is one of the few people she can talk to about this that won’t immediately tell her to go back to her husband and be a good wife. Everyone else wants her to choose Cadu, except Marina obviously, although she doesn’t say it and has given her time. Marina tells her she understands but Clara knows the hurt she’s causing, she saw it this morning when she started the conversation. Ju is the only person that gives her the advice in an objective manner. Who looks at the situation and what’s going on, what the best thing to do is for Clara, not at what’s expected of her. This is the one advice she actually wants to take, wants to follow through. She might not be convinced instantly to do it, but she didn’t realize it would feel so good to hear it from someone other than Marina or herself.

Clara admitted the happy Clara disappeared. She’s not been happy for a bit. She’s forced to stay in a situation when on the other side of the fence the grass seems to be greener and she wants to go and check it out, she’s almost sure that’s where she should be going. But nobody is allowing her to go and see what it’s about. Someone finally is.

Juliana laughs, she jokes, ‘See, now you think I’m crazy as well, but you know what? I’m so much happier, no one can take that away from me.’

She’s smiling but says it with determination in her voice, she's encouraging, trying to convince her. She believes this herself firmly, she wants Clara to see that, that she’s not just saying it. She’s not making this up, it’s the truth, she is convinced this is the truth, so she’s giving the message to her in a convincing manner. She truly believes this is what Clara should do, she hopes it’s what she'll do.

When we see Clara again we see more proof that the body can’t lie. She might call Juliana crazy but her face, her appearance, everything screams relief, gratitude, a weight off of her shoulders. She can’t help but smile. She’s been feeling so guilty about wanting to do this, finally she’s being told by someone she respects that she’s not a horrible person. That what she’s been feeling all this time that made her so guilty, shouldn’t make her guilty at all. The word ‘happier’ is also magic to Clara. She’s working towards her happiness, that’s the thing she wants to achieve. Now Juliana is giving her advice that she took herself, advice that made her so much happier. It’s all Clara wanted to hear. She’s smiling, she’s relieved. She opened her heart, confessed feeling bad about not doing something, about missing her window. She confessed feeling like a coward because of it, she confessed being unhappy. She confessed feeling sorry for herself, for not wanting to be in this situation, she confessed feeling guilty about it, believing she had no right, she shouldn’t feel sorry for herself, but she is, she confessed feeling bad. A huge weight has been lifted off of her shoulders, a weight so big, it was as big as the heart of the elephant that had been in the room all this time, in all the rooms Clara was in. She feels so much relief right now, Tânia Mara could write a song about it.

Juliana, someone she respects, is basically giving her permission, finally tells her to think about her own happiness, not just everyone else’s. It’s why she’s so relieved when she hears it. The quiet wish she didn’t even dare to admit she was wishing, someone actually wants her to fulfill it. Someone finally mirrors her own thoughts, that wanting your own happiness is not selfish, wanting to find who you are and having the courage to go for it is not a bad thing.

Juliana continues, ‘Just go for it because it’s worth it, Clara.’

When Juliana says this, Clara smiles the brightest smile and then looks up at the ceiling as if she’s thinking, ‘I want to! I wish I could, how awesome would that be, I want to!’

Juliana nods as she repeats, ‘It’s worth it.’ She’s trying to be as convincing as she can.

Clara’s face is all relief and gratitude. She is smiling, she’s so grateful right now, grateful that someone finally tells her that wanting to do what she wants isn’t horrible. Not only agreeing with her, but encouraging her. She’s not convinced it’s the right thing to do, she’s not convinced she should do it, but it’s a huge relief for her to finally hear someone say that wanting it isn’t the most terrible thing on earth. Someone finally voices her own thoughts, instead of the list of obligations and responsibilities she’s been raised to follow, something that’s been such a burden in her mind all this time.

She smiles as she lets out a breath, it’s a little shy even, a little touch of embarrassment, likely cause she’s talking to her aunt about sleeping with a woman. She’s close to accepting that she wants this, but she’s less close to accepting that people will know about it. The last time they had this conversation it went very differently, she wasn’t entertaining the thought yet at that time, she was defending the opposite. In a way she still is now, with her incredulous reply when she asked if Juliana thought she should cheat on her husband. But that was her sense of duty responding. That was her voice responding in the way she was raised. Her body responds with relief, with gratitude, with joy. It’s almost like Clara’s sense of duty and Clara’s desire to be happy are taking turns in the driver’s seat, taking turns in controlling her reply, her responses. Sometimes they mix up and do both at the same time. After she lets out the breath with a smile, her sense of duty takes the wheel again for a moment, as she shakes her head, shakes it off like she’s silly to even consider it. Her desire to be happy puts the smile on her face as she does it.

I think the contradicting parallel with the conversation they had ages ago is amazing. They talked in the restaurant, right before Marina came up to her room and told her she loved her. It’s like they are repeating that conversation in a certain way, but in a complete parallel universe where everything did a u-turn. Last time Clara said things that Juliana found disappointing to hear, things that Clara never considered to be disappointing. She had her beliefs, told them to Juliana without any holding back, had no idea that Juliana would be so turned off by knowing Clara felt that way.

This time, she’s confessing things that she thinks will be disappointing, but instead she gets encouraging replies. The first time she had no shame, was sure of her beliefs and let someone down. This time she thinks she’ll let someone down, but ends up being agreed with, even encouraged to take it further. Juliana’s ideas and beliefs haven’t changed, Clara’s have. On a huge level.

That is evident in the beginning, with Clara telling Juliana that she admires her. Not only for defying everyone and everything that was expected of her by doing the thing she wanted but Clara also admires her for it cause it’s what she wishes she could do herself. She still needs to find the strength for it, something she hasn’t been able to accomplish so far. She truly admires her for that, her body language even kind of asks her through her gestures: ‘how did you do it, how did you find the strength, tell me how to do it?’ She freed herself, did what she wanted, didn’t care about anyone else. Life flowed. She wants to know why Juliana could do it but why Clara herself couldn’t. She didn’t do it and it made her unhappy. She regrets not doing it. She regrets not doing the thing that would have brought her together with Marina. What she didn’t see back then, was that Juliana chose for herself. She understands it now. She wishes she understood it earlier.

Her dilemma, she loves her husband although she admits her feelings have changed, but she doesn’t want to cheat on him. She loves Marina, so much that she’s already convinced she loves her just as much as she loves her husband. She wants to be with her, but that requires cheating. She doesn’t want to do that. Being with Marina without cheating, she must leave Cadu first. How can she be sure this new thing is really it? She can’t. You need to experience someone completely if you’re going to know that. Not just handholding, but intimacy, sex, making love, being together in a relationship. Only then will you know if it’s enough. She’s been with Cadu for ten years. From what she knew, this was as good as it gets. She’s suspecting it’ll be better with Marina, but she. can’t. be. sure. She doesn’t want to take the risk, she can’t leave him and dive into it with Marina. She won’t dare. She’s never experienced it. How on earth can she know? It feels real to her, yes, but is it? Is she blinded by love? We might know the answer, but there’s no way she can know it. So she can’t leave him. But she doesn’t want to cheat. It’s a dilemma, a paradox, it’s complicated and it’s painful.

It’s been weighing on her shoulders all this time. She finally got to talk about it, she finally confessed it to someone, let it out. Not only did she release it from her own conscience, she was told she was right. Now I’m going to refer back to what I marked in the beginning, when she says ‘You see what our minds do to us?’ Her own mind did this to her. Her mind told her she was wrong. That she was bad, should feel bad, for thinking this. Turns out, someone disagrees, someone told her it wasn’t so bad at all. All this doubt, all this guilt, it wasn’t necessary. Her mind made her think her instincts were off. Her mind did that to her.

This was an amazing scene, both actresses delivered such wonderful performances, a large range of emotion all over the place. I was like a kid in a candy store. It was the largest candy store ever and it took me a few runs to get through it, but nevertheless, digging into it was awesome. Giovanna Antonelli and Vanessa Gerbelli, I bow to you both and to your divinity, please give us more where this came from, I had a blast.

Chuta o balde!


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  1. Ms. Colette/Nerdbian, you have a truly wonder way with words. I admire your commitment and compassion, and always look forward to reading your articles. Thanks, yet again, for keeping the torch lit.


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