When journalist Manuel Cueto is hired to type novelist Joaquín Góñez's last book, his presence provokes an avalanche of feelings that bring Joaquín to the edge of emotions and memories that had lain dormant in the solitude of the last stages of his creative life. Accustomed to years of loneliness, Joaquín finds in the young journalist a bridge to the forgotten years of his youth in the 60's and 70's, during his wild years in Buenos Aires. Argentina had been witness to the mistakes made in the passage to adulthood, the memories of old friends, the meaning of loyalty, the influences of cinema and jazz, the taste of first love and the experiences of the many which followed and the intimate relationship with his parents, particulary with his mother Roma, a strong, intelligent woman, a supporter of his youthful ideals. It is to Roma to whom Joaquín owes his free, bohemian spirit and the aspirations shared with her in the shadow of the memory of his father will awaken in Joaquín the desire ... Written by
I stumbled upon "Roma" a few nights ago on the HBO Latin channel. I seldom watch Spanish programming, but when I clicked on the program grid for some information on the film, I saw the movie's locale was Buenos Aires. My parents were portenos from Buenos Aires and I have been to Buenos Aires a few times, most recently last October, so I decided to watch.
The movie itself did not impress me. It was "ok"...a talky character study. Not a bad movie, but nothing out of the ordinary either. But...I enjoyed the movie immensely because the actors spoke just as my parents spoke, in the Argentine "porteno" dialect of Buenos Aires. It was like going back to my childhood. I speak Spanish reasonably well (but English is my "first" language) and I hear people speaking Spanish all the time at work, but they are not from Argentina. As soon as the movie started and I heard the actors speaking, I could tell is was that old familiar Argentine dialect...the cadence, the inflections, etc., are so unique. I told my sister about the movie...even though she understands little Spanish, I told her to watch or rent this movie if she could because she most likely would be transported back to our childhood as I was.
Elaine Clearwater FL
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