MOVIE REVIEW: “Roma” stars Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira (This Is Not Berlin, The Lord of the Skies [TV series]), Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Marco Graf (El Chango y la Chancla [TV series]), Daniela Demesa, Nancy García García, Verónica García, and Jorge Antonio Guerrero (Narcos: Mexico [TV series], Sitiados: México [TV mini-series]). It is written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men). A year in the life of a middle-class maid, Cleo (Aparicio), in Mexico City during the early 1970s.
I’m not much for life movies. What do I mean by that? I don’t really take immense joy out of films that start and end, capturing a series of moments from a character’s life or an event that doesn’t hold much narrative. There’s an audience for these. Heck, “Manchester by the Sea” received accolades during its run in cinemas. And while I’m not necessarily a fan of these in-the-life-of flicks, I have to give credit where credit is due: “Roma” is a beautiful piece of film. If you’re a lover of movies and consider yourself an enthusiast of the art of filmmaking, this is a great one to watch. Is it’s story astounding? Not that much, but everything else is knocked out of the park; the cinematography, performances, and overall scope of this picture is something to behold, granted no average moviegoer will care. When it comes to aesthetics, they take a backseat to entertainment, am I right? Seriously, it seems that way for most people, and there ain’t no shame in that. I don’t think “Roma” is cinema perfection, but I do think it deserves some recognition (and it is, ahem, Academy). The cinematography of this movie is just flat-out amazing. With its epic wide panning shots that take the screen by storm, “Roma” is a wonder to watch unfold. Surprisingly, the director of this movie was also the director of photography, meaning he not only directed actors, but also set up every shot to fit his vision (no simple feat, mind you). He did fantastic, as the look of “Roma” is clearly the strong suit. The performances of this film were natural, genuine. I’ve never seen any of these faces before, making it impossible for me to see these characters as the actors that portray them (when you see George Clooney, you see George Clooney, that’s all I gotta say). It was nice to see these fresh faces and I hope they do well for themselves in the future if they decide to take their acting further. I was thoroughly impressed by how fantastic this picture was put together, however as I said, the story didn’t do much for me. It has its moments; the characters are developed enough for me to care about their journey and wonder how it will unfold. Unfortunately, there’s not much there to see that’s kept in a single line. You’re essentially watching daily tasks with little moments of conflict sprinkled throughout. Not to say it’s all boring; as I’ve stated, there’s so much to be intrigued by in terms of aesthetics with this feature. The story just doesn’t carry it across the finish line for perfection, at least to me. I wouldn’t find myself watching it again, other than clips for reference in cinematography. Does that mean you shouldn’t watch it? No. I believe this flick deserves to be seen. It’s a piece of art at its core. You could tell there was passion behind this project, as it is revealed through all the aspects that went into crafting it. If you find yourself not doing anything, pick up “Roma” and watch it. It’s such a beautiful film with a good heart, no matter how much the story lacks. FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: