At around the 100th minute, Roma made me gasp. And then it stole a tiny tear from me. The story of a singleton, who works as a full-time caretaker and maid for an upper middle-class family in Mexico City in the year 1971 is what all the dictionaries around the world should change their definition of the word 'poignant' to. There is no other way to describe what director Alfonso Cuaron has carved in monochrome in Roma which is a film about everything, with an unpredictable and neat narration, somber music, and above all, a never-ending string of beautiful elements to look at. I have this theory that even if you don't watch Roma to understand what it tries to convey and just look at the flowy cinematography and the visually loud frames in motion in front of you, you will feel a peculiar energy transferring into your body. An energy to face the world like the protagonist Cleo faces (or tries to face) in this tragic drama that is built with so much attention to details that I would need an essay to describe the subtexts and small symbolic references that the film makes to send across a message about human nature and relationships, social hierarchy, politics, and violence. Roma made me gasp, laugh, and consider - and it does so in such a random order that you will find it difficult to realize that it's just a film. The running time might remind you that, but let's not talk about it because it is probably the only thing that will prevent you from feeling the film. TN.
(Watched and reviewed at its India premiere at the 20th MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.)
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