‘Roma’ proves to be everything and more

Simple story portrays beautiful reality

Fair use from Participant Media

Fair use from Participant Media

Amaia Barajas

I’ve heard of “Roma” for a few weeks now and wanted to see what all the hype was about. All I have to say about the movie is, it is an amazing portrayal of life in Mexico, and it deserves all the award nominations it’s been getting.

“Roma” directed by Alfonso Cuarón is a beautiful tale of the daily life of a nanny in Mexico City. The movie itself isn’t an epic story of a nanny and her family, but it’s a simple portrayal of how everyday life is epic in its own sense. The movie follows the life of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) as she care for a family of six in the upper-middle-class neighborhood Colonia Roma.

One highlight of this movie is the attention to detail when it comes to daily life in Mexico. There are so many moments on screen where there is an empty frame filled with only the hustle and bustle of Mexico City. These little bits of scenery are so vital to the story, easily setting the stage for the homey feeling the movie gives off. There are little aspects of this movie that may have not completely registered for someone who has never lived in Mexico, but that doesn’t mean they cannot understand the movie.

Cuaron made a fantastic decision to film most of the scenes in a real Mexican neighborhood, making the scenes less Hollywood. The details of the house, or the scene when Cleo is on a roof cleaning clothes and hanging them up, make the movie much more authentic. It creates an unmistakable vibe that makes me feel like I’m home.

Aparicio is the star of the movie. She is a remarkable actress and I’m genuinely so happy she was casted in this movie. She put so much heart into her performance and it really shows in the movie. Since this was her first role ever as an actor, I wasn’t expecting anything exceptional, but she blew all of my expectations out of the water. Her portrayal of a nanny working for a wealthy family was so simple, which is exactly what the character needed. This movie wasn’t made for over-the-top acting — it’s a movie about real life and Aparicio perfectly captured real life in Mexico.

The most important part of “Roma,” the part that warmed my heart, was the fact that an indigenous Mexican woman was at the forefront of a mainstream movie. Mexican media is a very white-washed group and if an actor has darker skin they are immediately a secondary character. But to see Aparicio on the screen made me feel very proud because finally, an indigenous actress gets to have the stage. Similarly, maids or nannies are never featured as the main characters, so to have Aparicio play such a pure version of a nanny makes the movie that much more sweet.

Overall, “Roma” is one of the greatest movies I’ve seen in a long time. The accuracy of representing Mexico was the most interesting aspect. I recommend everyone who has two hours to spare to watch and absorb how interesting it is. “Roma” is showing at the Landmark Edina Cinema and streaming on Netflix all over the United States.

“Roma:” ★★★★☆