A Review of Roma

Alliana Avancena
Staff Writer

PC: Ariana Avancena

The movie “Roma” is based on a domestic worker’s journey within the political turmoil of Mexico in the 1970s. The title, “Roma,” refers to the Colonia Roma district of Mexico City. This film was released at the World Premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on Aug. 30, 2018 before catching fire onto Netflix just recently. The Academy Award Nominee, Alfonso Cuarón, is the director and producer of this wondrous perspective into hardships of the sentiment buried within the Hispanic community’s history.

The film is completely in Spanish, and the introduction sets us into a black and white thematic. The long introduction that pans across the dirty floor, on which sits a collection of dog feces that Cleo cleans, portrays her life being enslaved to the system. There is clearly a real-life representation of injustice and inequality within a community, even amongst people of the same race, due to the redistribution of wealth and the lack of education in certain areas of Roma. The middle-class family consists of Sra. Sofia, Paco, Adela, Sofi, and Pepe, all of whom treat Cleo as family.      

Life unfolds a very unfortunate series of events for this family, especially for Cleo. One scene that is an attention grabber is when one child lays on the paved stone and Cleo follows, both of them exclaiming how playing dead is fun. This equates to how Cleo truly feels that death must be a better feeling than the reality that she faces day to day. These hardships came about with known aspirations, but with the government crumbling, there was only a sense of right and wrong, and no longer a space to grow for Cleo. Cleo fell in love with the concept of love. She found one lover of martial arts and thought life may not be the worst. Later, she realized that her idea of love lived in the family she had been taking care of. The man she thought she once knew had actually been part of a gang that worked against the political debris and civilization. Just as Cleo began to see the true colors of the draining reality she had already come to know, her Master, Sra. Cleo, had also figured out that she had been married with a man that had been cheating.

A powerful scene before the aforementioned twists and turns is when we as the audience realize that Cleo has achieved inner peace, as she is the only one able to balance with her eyes closed. This, as the leader of the gang specializing in martial arts had explained, was a rare occurrence. Cleo remained quiet about her own inner conflict, then noticed shortly after the love of her life decided to walk out on her when he discovered that she was pregnant. After the nine months of pregnancy without a reliable partner to call her own, she gave birth to a stillborn. This importance of culture and familial bond came to thrive within a small portion of the population, then shows the resilience that Hispanic women and families of single mothers carry, even under the jurisdiction of men that claim women as inferior. As Sra. Sofia bought a new car that actually fit into the garage, the significance of this object is renewal. Women have become their own drivers of what they want to claim in life.

With all this being said, Roma provides a lesson that can teach the ones in power something so complex that their minds may not be able to comprehend, as experience is a teacher that will reach farther into the soul than the physical eyes can see.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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