Roma ★★★★½

Alfonso Cuaron, the innovator behind many modern-classics in the noughties, has finally returned after five years with Roma, the latest (and greatest) from the marmite studio Netflix. Love them or hate them, they have really found their mojo this year, offering some of the best in film and TV. Being as popular as they are you wouldn't be foolish to expect them to pump out mainstream rubbish, and whilst they don't hold back on that front, they are still allowing filmmakers like Cuaron and recently Mike Flanagan to really do something that they want to do. I, personally, don't hate on studios that encourage creativity and uniqueness...

On to the film. If i had to summarise Roma in one word it would be 'personal'. From the outset, it is so obvious that Alfonso poured his heart and soul into every single scene. Not one moment goes by where he looks portentous or indulgent. It just looks really natural and organic. What also struck me early on was the black and white. I normally question the use of black and white in modern cinema quite extensively, but it only seemed to do the film favours here. I felt so immersed within the captivating story and characters that i hardly noticed the lack of colour.

I read many reviews online prior to the watch, most from critics and some from IMDb, and was surprised to see a minority of haters. 'Boring' and 'pointless' were thrown around a fair bit, and although i respect everyone's opinion, i just don't get it. I feel that anyone who watched the film in it's entirety would realise the importance of the finer details. Everything comes full circle by the end, frankly, leaving you wanting even more. It is a slow-burner, but nonetheless an extremely wonderful one.

I must mention the final act. The shifts in tone were small, but very jarring throughout the film. The final act, in my opinion, was the best part of the very accomplished film... All of the small stuff before only made me more engrossed in the characters, so when all of the sub-plots involving bizarre martial arts camps and surprise pregnancies come together, it feels like a knife has been twisted somewhere inside of you. The raw emotion and talent on display from the actors makes everything feel dreadfully sad at times, but also beautifully hopeful. If there is one thing i can hardly stand in films, it's nihilism. Here, Cuaron seems to preach messages of hope and family always sticking together instead of the depressing nonsense that some dramas end on.

It's a long film, and at times a pressing watch, but you will feel so rewarded once the curtains close and you begin to rally dwell on what you've seen...

Louis D liked these reviews