In his film,“Roma,” director Alfonso Cuarón gives his audience a look at his life growing up in Mexico.
First time actress Yalitza Aparicio stars as Cleo, the maid for a middle class family in 1970’s Mexico. As the family falls apart after the abandonment of the children’s father, Cleo has to become a caregiver, while also dealing with her own personal problems. The story is very small, and although that seems like a complaint, it makes the film very compelling. Following Cleo around her day to day life is so personal, and it really puts you in her shoes. You feel her struggles as if they are your own. This also can be attributed to Yaliza Aparicio’s phenomenal acting.
One problem with this personal storytelling is that the movie is slow, especially in the first half. It’s quite long, and the slow burning plot doesn’t make it feel any shorter. However, the main character is so likable that you didn’t mind seeing the more trivial and unexciting parts of her life.
Of course, no discussion about this film would be complete without talking about the cinematography. The movie is in black in white, which was worrisome at first, but it fits well. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the black and white coloring gives the film a home movie feel, which is fitting, considering it is the retelling of Cuarón’s childhood.
“Roma” is an emotional rollercoaster. Although it’s slow at times, the intriguing characters, great acting, and unique cinematography will keep you intrigued the whole way through.