I felt the internal pain of those women in the film while watching it, tried to understand their problems and feelings while they're hiding them. I was that kid who was trying to secretly listen what his mom (Sofia) says as she cries behind the door, as a viewer throughout the movie. I felt that for Cleo too.
You feel the desperation of people against everything that's going on around them in this film, the insignificance of human against events; yet you understand what it means to be a person, an individual, in all this mess. An earthquake happens and suddenly you stand next to desperate people who can't do anything but kneel and pray; you see newborns that can't even move their body an inch, and their nurses in panic, yet they try to save them. You see a baby almost died in a newborn care unit made out of glass that have a piece of the concrete ceiling fallen on top of it; the pinnacle of desperation.
At that moment when the earthquake happens, you get what Cleo feels: She doesn't care. Deep in her mind, she doesn't care about anything after her boyfriend left her alone with a baby. Maybe she wasn't getting any joy from life even from the beginning. It isn't clear though, like our own lives: Yes she goes out with her boyfriend and seems happy, but we certainly feel that there is something broken in her. We feel it especially in the scene where she talks with the little boy on the rooftop. Throughout the film, you always feel that internal loneliness, even if she's always with someone who cares for her. That's the loneliness, the strangeness, you feel in the middle of the city, in the middle of the crowd.
We don't see the father much. This is intentional, to stop us from thinking how he felt and why he left the family. The main focus is what rest of the family feels. And as I mentioned before, the film makes us feel like we're one of the children in that family. We barely understand what's going on between the mother and the father, like a children.
I think the desperation of human is really the subject of this film. We always feel it: When Cleo and Teresa (grandmother) goes to the store and suddenly there's a massacre in the street and no one can do anything; when the earthquake happens; when Fermin leaves Cleo, and when he denies his own child; when Sofia realizes that her husband left their family. Even the whole situation of Mexico at that time is really bad, and hopeless for some. But after all this mess, there is a search for happiness and hope. And this is in the nature of human, and other animals too. We see the common response of nearly all the nature, especially humans, after Cleo loses her child: The grief. And then we see the common response what all the nature gives after the grief: Search for hope, to survive the rest of life.
Roma is a film about an ordinary life of an ordinary person, at the end of the day. But the film gives it so much meaning. I'm not going to explain the symbolism in the film; like when we see some Americans shooting their guns in the woods, or when we see a women drinking recklessly while others trying to extinguish a forest fire. I believe that every individual watching a film like Roma, gets their own meaning.
If you're someone who watched this film on Netflix by accident, hoping to see some Marvel stuff or a dull action, please do us a favor and stop writing a 1 star "review." We're seeing the fate of every good film on IMDb, in user rating charts of this film too: There's a majority of people who liked this film and gave 7-8-9-10 stars, and there's a little group, but a noticeable one, who gives 10 to their favorite franchise and 1 to the films they didn't "enjoyed," there is no film in between. (Of course I respect the people who didn't like the film and wrote a helpful review.) So if you're going to watch this film, I definitely recommend you to do it. You will be glad to witness a classic, in the time when it's created. After you finish watching it, there's an inevitable desire of research waiting you to understand what it all meant and what was the historical events mentioned in the film. This film carries so much meaning. But you don't need to over-analyze a film (or a painting, etc.) to enjoy it of course.
At the end, what makes this film beautiful is, how calmly it reminds us what it's like to be an individual in the middle of the mess of modern times, in the mess we don't want to deal with while creating it for others. And showing cleverly how meaningful the life itself is, we normally consider ordinary.