ROMA Movie Review – A Rare Masterpiece

Roma Movie Poster

Movie review of ROMA is here, written and directed by the master filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron who won the Oscar for GRAVITY. ROMA the winner of the prestigious Golden Lion at the 75th Venice International Film Festival is a critic’s delight. What makes ROMA so special and an unforgettable piece art?, find out in the movie review of ROMA.

What is ROMA all about?

In simple words ROMA is the best movie a person has ever made about his aaya (nanny). Nanny – the neglected, ignored individuals in life and society no matter in which class, creed, world and era they belong. ROMA is Alfonso Cuaron’s thanks giving tribute to the women who brought him up. It’s a semi-autobiographical story, a personal experience that is so magically universal in its reach and acceptance. The great Federico Fellini recounted his youth in Rome in a movie similarly titled ROMA IN 1972, also known as FELLINI’S ROMA, however the similarities between Alfonso Curan’s ROMA and FELLINI’S ROMA ends on the idea of transferring a personal experience on screen and Fellini’s movie was more of his younger days in Rome, Alfonso Cuaron’’s ROMA travels beyond Mexico.

ROMA Story

Set in 1970, ROMA is an upper-middle-class neighborhood of Mexico City colloquially called as Roma. Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) works as a nanny for the four children of the well to do doctor Antonio (Fernando Grediaga). Dr. Antonio lives in a posh house with his wife Sofía (Marina de Tavira) and his old mother (Verónica García). Cleo only companion is a maid Adela (Nancy García García), both Cleo and Adela live in a confined quarter above the garage. Cleo is the main protagonist, the tool through which Alfonso Cuaron paints this neorealist drama which is not just about a family living during the 70’s Mexico City, it’s a character study of human behavior, it’s a vision, an observation that sails through its characters and in a profound magic, the micro setting slowly and surely starts seeing the macro vision of this story which is truly universal.

How has the master filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron created the world of ROMA?

Alfonso Cuaron’s last movie was the 2013 extraordinarily brilliant science fiction thriller GRAVITY. The Sandra Bullock, George Clooney starrer won seven Oscars that included the best director. Made at a budget of around 120+ million US dollars, the movie earned a whooping 700+ million dollars. After scaling such skies in the mainstream Hollywood, the Mexican born Alfonso Cuaron comes back to the ground reality and remembers the woman who brought him up for a movie to be streamed on Netflix. Remember GRAVITY gave the ultimate Imax experience to the world. Such guts, determination and conviction ruled by an undying passion is the quality of a genius and Alfonso Cuaron proves his mastery as one of the most influential filmmaker we have today again with applause in ROMA. Opening with a close-up shot of a stone-paved driveway, the soapy water flows over the rock, its Cleo’s (initially not seen) routine and within seconds in the reflection of the water, we can see the sky, as water movies, a plane is seen moving. Simple but the impact is beyond. The opening scene is what Alfonso Cuaron’s ROMA is all about. The stone-paved driveway is the personal story of Cleo and the reflections we see is the larger picture, Alfonso Cuaron uses his impeccable technique, that every image immerses into a human psyche, slowly but surely.

Does ROMA deserve all the accolades?

Certainly, Alfonso Cuaron has given a rare rewarding experience in ROMA for the connoisseurs of arts and world cinema. The protagonist hardly speaks but it coveys throughout. Alfonso Cuaron genius over visual language gets profoundly established with this picture. The detailing is perfect and it transports you instantly. How often does a story on screen gets so personal to the audience in the end that it gets special. Hardly, ROMA is that rare experience that comes rarely.

Is ROMA Alfonso Cuaron’s best till date?

Tricky one, but the man Alfonso Cuaron will remain a stunner forever. My first introduction to Alfonso Cuaron was the sensational Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN –The 1994 sexy art-house revolution from Mexico is perhaps for me the most matured and bold coming of age saga. Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN was everything; it was raunchy, smart, happy, sad, insightful, surprising, unafraid of its sexuality, frank and extremely powerful. Even after some extra cups of my coffee and cigarettes the movie refused to get diluted and kept me haunting. Alfonso Cuaron’s coming of age saga has helped me in growing up as an audience. When he made the fantasy HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (2004), he came so close to the aura of J. K. Rowling, perhaps the best Harry Potter movie for me at least. When he made CHILDREN OF MEN (2006) the brilliantly crafted and magnificently mounted futuristic saga where people didn,t wear flashy costumes, they appeared real, it was a unique soul-crushing and spirit-lifting experience that made me said wow!!. Then he made GRAVITY and I don’t need to say anything on this particular movie. The world was in awe. And then comes this masterpiece ROMA. All are unique and rare, no comparisons. Filmmakers like Alfonso Cuaron give their best in each of their film, every filmmaker dreams of doing that but not everyone gets that astonishing success rate both commercially and artistically. 

Is ROMA worth watching?

For the connoisseur of art and cinema with sense and sensibility, ROMA is a must. ROMA is not just a rare piece of art, it’s a striking testimony of the power and magic of cinema by Alfonso Cuaron, if GRAVITY was an ultimate Imax experience, ROMA on Netflix is an unforgettable story of the ignored and neglected that crosses boundaries, the ‘size’ never matters for cinematic magic like ROMA, it’s a love letter to humanity by Alfonso Cuaron which should be seen, savored as it promises to get saved till the end of time.

Rating 4.5

Rating 4.5/5

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Movie Cast & Crew
  • Director: Alfonso Cuaron
  • Actress: Yalitza Aparicio
  • Release Date : 14 Dec 2018
  • Movie Duration : 2 Hrs, 15 minutes