Roma ★★★★½

We are alone. No matter what they tell you, we women are always alone.

Alfonso Cuarón's Roma is a film that transcends beyond simply being a film. Roma is a powerful vision directly from the mind of one of the greatest visionary storytellers of our time. Alfonso Cuarón allows us to peak into his vision of madness, chaos, and beauty. Roma is a film mended by love but it is not without tragedy and desolation. There's something significantly alluring and trance inducing about these three dimensional set pieces that Cuarón seems to explore in the most reflective way possible. Roma is melancholy and at times horrific, but the hardship this family experiences is worth the transformative journey in the end. The first time I watched Roma I sobbed heavily so much so that I almost had to walk out of the movie, and on rewatching it that very same thing happened. I understood Cleo's pain in that moment on the beach. I was once there myself. Not exactly in her shoes, but I know many who had to face the cold reality that she did - including my own mother. As tears streamed down her face and the waves roared thunderously I was transported back to that moment in my house where I truly saw my mother reach her breaking point. But as someone who grew up with strong women (it seems Cuarón has too), this realization that Cleo has is only a form of "baptism" if you will. Those cries and screams of coming to terms with something so heartbreaking are only tears and screams of catharsis. In that very heartbreaking moment there's also this overpowering feeling of togetherness. As each of these people lovingly embrace one another in comfort I felt this warmth that I can only describe as truly being touched by the beauty of such a towering cinematic moment.

I never lived in Mexico in fact I wasn't even alive in the 70s. I'm not Mexican either. Yet Roma feels so real and like how I'd imagine this place would look during the time. And I may not be Mexican but I am a minority and I understand many of the things in this film even though this isn't exactly a culture I'm 100% familiar with. These are struggles that real women face, these are struggles that people of color face. I love that Cuarón touches on the single woman, a phenomenon that isn't too touched on in cinema but a phenomenon that is very real. All I can really do is thank Cuarón for allowing me to see such a bold and transcendent vision. Roma is a meditation on the simplicities, dangers, and majesty of life. Alfonso Cuarón intelligently paints the canvas of his film in black and white because although the world of Roma is drowned in so much darkness, there is also so much light.

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