Roma ★★★★

Ugh, didn’t expect to cry twice but here I am. Part of me feels like they could have thrown out the first hour of this and it still would have been just as strong because the last hour and 15 minutes feel more focused— heart wrenching and symbolic. I had to go do some research on Mexican history to get the real backstory here but the film gives you more than enough to make you emotional (that riot scene and the second beach scene got me). 

This movie is full of overt symbolism and I adore that aspect of it. The symbolism of what happens when an authoritarian regime uses and abuses its own people is rife throughout when it’s not literally on display. Cleo in general becomes a symbol for the indigenous population of Mexico, her place in society and her unfortunate circumstances. Fermin swinging his dick around is a perfect symbol for authoritarianism (as is the fate of his child). Then there’s a whole novel you could write about the importance and role of women in general in this film......

Cuaron’s clearly put a ton of time and thought into the script, and it’s obvious this was autobiographical in that sense. The family is spoiled in the size of their home and their housekeepers at the ready, this inequality is a main focal point of the film. But interestingly the film never really blames them for their unquestioning of this status quo, it’s just something that is. Which seems to be Cuaron’s truth, which is why it’s all the better that he made the decision to tell this story from Cleo’s perspective — it certainly elevates this above and beyond your normal political film. The fact that this is shot so nicely doesn’t hurt either... though I could have used more close ups personally.

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