Roma (2018) – The Vaguely of Memories

Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” feels to be artistry where it turns out I was grateful there was still a movie like this. This movie belongs to a type of movie where you feel sadness, pain, solitude, and happiness. It mixes your feelings into your heart where you can’t express them. Contemplating and appreciating the existence of humans, the earth and flow of time. It was wanting to shout in a wide place. You want to scream and blow up so that your feelings become quite.

And yes, people and critics really appreciate this film. It has perfect ratings and many people give positive critics about this film. Timeless, “Roma” became an Oscar-worthy which got 10 nominations including Best Picture, Best Directing, and Best Cinematography. Of course, the actors as surreal characters. Cuarón himself even said that this was his most personal film as far as he had ever been directed a movie. He loves one-shot and wide shots including in our beloved favorites movies, “Children of Men” and “Gravity”.

This film is a semi-autobiographical from Cuarón himself according to his childhood memory. Set in the 70s in a city called Rome, Mexico, “Roma” took the perspective of a middle-class family’s maid. As the first scene starts with the weirdest but smooth cinematic, this concept used every time in almost every scene. The floor mopped with water and soap, then a reflection of an airplane appears repeatedly in the film. About a minute or so, then we see Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo. She is one of two servants who work for a middle-class family. However, she was different from others in general because children and family considered Cleo as part of the family.

Marina de Tavira as Sofia always said that she was just a servant. Yet, Cleo does her job well. The same is true for taking care of Sofia’s children. Therefore, they are considered as ideal servants. They deserve and really love the employer’s family. The conflict culminated when Cleo found out that she was pregnant. In addition, Fernando Grediaga as Antonio or Sofia’s husband ran away from his responsibilities. Everything was fleet and changing quickly. However, such time feels slow but goes fast. Cleo tried to be a figure of motherhood, tried to make a bond, and influence including Sofia’s family and other people.

The film is below a tone that is so pure drama. Less melodrama to say. I see this movie as a slice of life genre without conflict for half an hour. But, this film is so basic. Instead of not using a score, Cuarón prefers to use sound design and sharp smell. Even the used of actors, including Yalitza Aparicio, had never played in a movie before.

As Cuarón said, this is not a classic movie. With the black and white format, he prefers to say it as a happy memory. More precisely the bittersweet memories of the director himself. The quality of the cinematography is steady and so beautiful. For one frame, there is a one-shot of scenes where we just have to wait. Just like the entire hospital scene where Cuarón did it with a one-shot. In addition to using a lot of long one-shots, the movement of the camera is so steady and smooth. The editing and cut between transitions not afloat. “Roma” uses a lot of nature including wind, earth’s perspective, fire, and a shot to the sky.

This is not an overhyped movie nor an overrated film. Just one frame, there were so many events that occur where you can’t focus on Cleo alone. An epic scale such as chaotic politics including the Corpus Christi massacre, economic crisis, social inequality, and etc. They just disappeared as if gone by the wind and somewhere below. Just, what can I say about this movie? There was so many great and beautiful style of emotional scenes. Including one of the climax scenes where there is a connection at the first scene and this. In the end, this film is more than a sacrifice but what actually affects each individual. Just like our center of the main character, Cleo is desperately fighting the waves to fight for something.

While watching this movie, I felt such a breathtaking in my own heart. It’s very difficult to express it personally but more precisely, Cuarón could express it poetically. “Roma” is a movie we should appreciate more in cinema history. It reminded me of “Moonlight” with a personal and similar impression. When I finished watching this film, I felt it too fast. This film runs slowly and is “boring” but it seems I have watched an emotional poem. It’s empathy to understand humans far from the word ‘human’ itself. It’s more than anything to the director and to us.

5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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