Though it was released under two years ago, Roma is already considered a modern classic, thanks to its stunning cinematography and storytelling. Directed by acclaimed film producer Alfonso Cuarón, the movie, considered a cinematic masterpiece by critics, was released on Netflix on October 27, 2019.
This slice-of-life drama follows Cleo, an indigenous housekeeper who works for an affluent family in Mexico City. Caring for the house-and the family’s four young children-Cleo and Adela, another maid, live simply but comfortably. It is not until the father of the family runs off with his mistress that tensions begin to rise, threatening to tear apart the formerly-happy family. To complicate matters further, Cleo realizes she is pregnant, and her then-boyfriend abandons her to raise the child on her own. Seamlessly blending comedy and tragedy, this intimate drama examines the complexities that exist within every family. Though the situations presented in the film are not universal, the themes of love, sacrifice, and heartbreak that run throughout it are. Even the cinematography reflects these undercurrents. Set against the rich cultural backdrop of Mexico City, but shot in black-and-white, the visual aesthetic of the movie mirrors the joy and sadness that exist, often simultaneously, in families around the world. During quarantine, this film may give you a new outlook on your own family-a much-needed perspective shift when you've been spending so much extra time with them.
Sure, this film has been applauded by critics but when it comes to the average watcher, it doesn’t live up to the hype. It prioritizes its artsy cinematography over its actual plot, making for long, drawn-out shots that struggle to hold up the rambling storyline. Though the visual aesthetics of a movie may make it interesting to watch for a while, they certainly don’t fill up this film’s two hour and fifteen-minute runtime. For the audience, watching it struggle to do so is a frustratingly boring experience.