Alfonso Cuarón’s mastery with camera and storytelling helps elevating an already emotional story to an astonishing study of human behaviour and change. It is a personal love letter to Mexico city. Roma was initially Released in Venice International Film Festival where it received The Golden Lion award. It has recieved many accolades and nominations, (Any time today Academy will be announcing the nominees for Best Foreign Language picture which I can bet Roma will bag this year) and it deserves all of them.
“We are alone. No matter what they tell you, we women are always alone.”Senora Sofia , Roma
Roma is a semi autobiographical account of a family that lives in Mexico City (Roma being a part of the city where the family lives) and their young domestic help Cleo(played by Yalitza Aparicio). It’s a deeply personal story as the director draws from his own personal life and his childhood to create the Mexico city in early 1970s. Roma is about change. And how you deal with the change and move on.
Trademark Cuarón long shots are present from the very first shot itself. His camera as always is not stationary(We talked about it before when we discussed his direction style in Harry Potter and The Prisoners of Azkaban) A la Kubrick his camera moves with the character, his personal project is stunning to look at.
Roma is also photographed by him(his first Cinematography credit), his eye can find beauty where other directors of photography would have failed. A fine example lies in the very first scene of the movie, we can hear someone sweeping the floor and water coming closer to the frame as the camera is looking down. As the water sweeps into the frame, the bubbly and foamy water allows us to see a reflection of the sky just when an airplane flies over.
Each Frame of this movie is beautiful to to look at. Roma should be watched on the biggest screen possible and if you are planning to watch it on Netflix like I did. The director released this guide as to how the movie should be watched on TVs.
Much like Cuaron’s other work this movie is filled with imagery. With each heart breaking moment there is a slight omen attached. It’s sometimes as subtle as a plane crash in a movie that our protagonist is watching or it is sometimes as loud as a drink dropping from her hand. Cuaron does not hold back. He has unleashed all his mastery in this.
It’s rare to see a movie that is so full of soul as Roma. And most of that is because of an incredible performance by Yalitza Aparicio. It’s hard to believe that this is her first acting project. She is incredible as the young domestic help living in a troubling misogynistic world. The Mexico City around her is bubbling with political uprising. And amid all her chaos her character finds a moving innocence. A couple of scenes in this movie are so moving that you are shaken to your core.
Roma is the best movie that i have watched this year and certainly one of the best that have come out this decade. A very personal, moving, profound and bravely realistic take on Family and love. A must watch.