The sound design for Roma is so intricate that watching this film in anything other than a theater would not be doing proper justice to the film.
Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) is the film’s main focus. She’s working as a live-in maid for a middle-class family living in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood. The family dynamics change when Señor Antonio (Fernando Grediaga) returns from a conference only to leave again. This means that Sofia (Marina De Tavira), a mother of three children, is forced to lie about his whereabouts. Sofia is not alone with her relationship issues with Fermín (Jorge Antonio Guerrero). How Cleo gets treated by him when she reveals big news is both sickening and disgusting. No man who treats a woman like that is worth having. Nobody.
That lead actress Yalitza Aparicio did not have any acting experience before this film is amazing. In watching her acting on screen, the actress comes off as a consumate pro. Having her best friend, Nancy García, also appear in the film must make this debut really special.
It’s been five years since Alfonso Cuarón gave us Gravity but the end result makes it very much worth the wait. Never mind the fact that Roma is in black and white or subtitled. This is such a personal film for the writer-director and it shows through the craft. It shows through the long takes and slowly takes us from one place to another. It shows through the depiction of the turmoil that enveloped Mexico during the 1970s. As filmmakers build their career, there’s always that one story they wish to tell. This is that story.
What makes Roma so personal is that this film is being told through Cuarón’s own memories. Yes, there are some changes to the story such as the the genders of the children in the film. His real family had three boys from what I can tell. The production goes through great care to reenact the Corpus Christi Massacre at the exact Mexico-Tacuba intersection. How about that?!?
To tell you how important this film means, Netflix is breaking tradition for a theatrical window of a few weeks. In case it isn’t being said enough, Roma‘s sound design is so amazing from the very moment that the film begins to appear on screen. Honestly, it’s unlike any film I’ve seen before and yes, this goes for all the studio blockbusters. The cinematography is so beautiful.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Alfonso Cuarón
CAST: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina De Tavira, Nancy García, Marco Graf, Daniela Demesa, Enoc Leaño, and Daniel Valtierra