With all of the Oscars buzz I too had the fever and proceeded to watch the Academy award winning film. One thing I have come to realize of the Mexican Directors like Iñárritu, Del Toro, and Cuaron is that these guys are insane on another level. Their level of thinking or of seeing the world is that of a 4th dimensional being. I am always fascinated by the way they see the world via their films, Roma is no exception.
The film starts off slow and really doesn’t pick up for a while. It is really a film as if you were a fly on the wall, seeing real people live their daily lives, nothing too extraordinary about it, until it is. The amount of symbolism and usage of story telling elements is countless, I lost track of how to portray a scene as everything has a meaning, even if it doesn’t seem like it does. That’s the cruel nature of the Mexican director, he makes you think like him and almost allows you to see how he see’s the world, but only for a second. If you blink, you miss what Cuaron is trying to tell you. I sense that to truly appreciate the film you have to understand Mexican culture at a deep level, something the average American cannot accomplish. There are elements that even as a Mexican go over your head or details that can be missed if you don’t pay attention. I recall a few songs played throughout the film, one by Juan Gabriel and another by Jose Jose, this gave me the viewer a perspective as per the actual timeline of when the story takes place, not to mention posters of the 1970 world cup in one of the boy’s room. As a Mexican, I feel I could really appreciate the amount of detail that went into creating the film, understanding what people thought and were like in Mexico at that time and how they currently are. T
he film is beautiful because of the untold story of the native’s living in Mexico. It is similar but not exact like that of the African in America. The Mexican native is second to the white elite, the individual who is descendent of Spanish blood, white complected and unable to speak the native language. The descendent of the Spanish is privileged and spoiled. It is this level of detail to the Mexican culture and the issues within its culture that are truly impactful in the film. We see how this native girl is betrayed by her lover, and her boss’s husband does the same. Despite their difference in social classes, their issues are very similar.
Two scenes stuck with me the most as the most impactful, the hospital scene as the young maid gave birth to a stillborn child and the beach scene where the young maid goes into the water to save the young children she looks over despite her inability to swim. There is more in context to these sceenes than the afore mention, but they are well crafted because they portray real life. This things happen everyday, people die, people are cheated on, and people are sexually harassed by family members. Roma is great because it not only personifies Mexico and its issues, but it gives the viewer a film where its problems are issues we face every day with our own families and community. I give Roma a 8/10.