What better way can one cap off the year than by chiselling out a fine piece of cinematic art? Oscar-nominated Roma (2018), directed by visionary Alfonso Cuarón, is a demonstration of the inner workings of filmmaking chef-d’oeuvre.
The story of family bonds, devotion and the struggles of indigenous people is told from the perspective of a young Mexican servant. Cleo, played by the wonderful Yalitza Aparicio, has a character arc that is just simply immense and astounding to watch. If you observe carefully, you’re able to notice how the cast are not well-trained actors but people who were chosen for the roles because of their own personal socio-economic status or the personal lives they have led prior to the movie. This need for authenticity is a gamble taken by the director that pays off well. From heartbreak to raw acting, Alfonso Cuarón brings out the best of everyone and everything. The director has managed to capture the yin-yang intricacies of being raised in a middle-class family in Mexico very realistically and this has elevated the film to be culturally significant. In terms of cinematography, the film is feast for one’s eyes. From wide angle shots to the 180-degree rule of filmmaking, Roma is visually stunning. The film is crafted in black and white color, yet the director has finessed the ability to work every scene like a photograph that deserves to be paraded in an exhibition.
If you’re expecting a film with a storyline, look away. If you’re here for action, this is not the film for you. The film has the pace of a snail and the narrative of the film may be lackluster to many. However, if you’re here for a visual sensation, you’ve come to the right place. Roma is hard to follow if you’re looking for a trail of breadcrumbs within the movie and it will not appeal to the masses. While the film is shot immaculately, one might argue that the film contains only an aesthetic appeal and if you’re not a fan of atmospheric art, Roma does little to convince you of the point (or the lack of one) that it was trying to make.