Alfonso Cuaron, the brilliant director of “Gravity” and “Children of Men” used his creative direction yet again to masterfully create one of the most visually stunning and emotionally provocative films in years. It’s difficult to describe, as seeing his films is an experience that lies beyond words. Cuaron is one of the most artistic and talented directors working today, and his most recent work on “Roma” reflects everything about the man himself and the world he grew up in.
Throughout the film, we observe a year in the life of Cleo, a maid in 1970s Mexico City. On her journey, we get to know the family she works for, the setting’s political turmoil, and her relationship with a man named Fermin. All of these elements clash together, and the story turns into an emotional ride that both lifts spirits and devastates. Words cannot fully describe the emotions that “Roma” elicits.
This is a passion project for Cuaron as the film reflects his own times growing up in Mexico City. Every event in “Roma” truly happened in Cuaron’s childhood. Cleo represents the maid he knew as a child and everything she goes through is true. From the first opening shot to the last, “Roma” feels like a surreal memory taken right from the mind of the director. It’s a brilliant work of art that deserves to be watched and studied for years to come.
Cleo is beautifully played by Yalitza Aparicio in her very first acting gig and during the film’s entire runtime, you really feel for her character. Not only is that Cuaron’s doing, but Yalitza’s as well. She gives one of the most immersive performances of the year, which will hopefully skyrocket her into a full on acting career. It’s hard to tell at the moment if she is going to continue acting, but if she does, it’s safe to say she’ll never disappoint.
Throughout “Roma” we feel as though we are with these characters and are experiencing their lives with them through ever devastating moment. When a film can successfully bring you into the lives of the characters, it’s a masterpiece. Cuaron’s masterpiece deserves to be remembered as future classic, muck like the way we currently see films like “Gone With the Wind” and “Casablanca”.
“Roma” will be released as a Netflix original film this December, however it will also receive a limited theater released. While it is a Netflix film, the film begs to be seen in theaters. The sound design, long camera takes, cinematography, production design, and its use of black and white all make “Roma” theater worthy. Watching it on the small screen will still be great but seeing it in the theaters will give audiences the experience they’re meant to have. “Roma” is, after all, an experience more than a movie.
Rated R for graphic nudity, some disturbing images, and language