Who’s in it?

Yalitza Aparicio, Marina De Tavira, Jorge Antonio Guerrero.

The Basics

Roma was the winner of Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars earlier this year, and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. It is being hailed by many as Mexican Director Alfonso Cuaron’s masterpiece. Cuaron is responsible for such mammoth movies as Gravity, Children of Men, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.Roma is based on Cuaron’s maidservant during his childhood years (played by Yalitza Aparicio). It’s shot in crisp, wide-angled Black and White, and exists in the backdrop of the Corpus Christi Uprisings in Mexico in the 1970s.

What It’s About

Roma can be divided into three crucial parts, all of them revolving around the actions of a maidservant in a Mexican family. Yalitza Aparicio revels in the role of Cleo, the thoughtful and stoic maidservant who falls for a handsome slumboy named Fermin (Jorge Antonio Guerrero). Cleo’s relationship with the dastardly Fermin and with the family she works for form the plotline where most events transpire. The men in the film are portrayed as hypocritical and evil as seen in Fermin (her lover) and Antonio (the man of the family she works for) as they treat their women with disdain and neglect.

Roma is a showpiece for Yalitza Aparicio and we feel empathetic towards her character, Cleo, the graceful and honest maidservant. The anticlimax of the film is hugely tragic but the climax that follows shows how fate has a way of turning things around and letting in rays of sunshine in a person’s life.

The Verdict

Roma was a very personal work for Alfonso Cuaron and he directs this with utmost sensitivity and detail. First-time actor Yalitza Aparacio puts a lot of veteran-actors to shame with her binding and intimate performance as Cleo the maidservant around whom this old-fashioned tale hugs warm and hard, and long after the end-credits roll, we can think of nothing but her.