The Maid (Film Thoughts: Roma)

ro‘Roma’ is one of those movies that get to you, and as you watch it, and you get so caught in it and the world that it creates that you feel like you aren’t really watching a movie. It feels like I have been usurped inside the screen and became part of the family whose life forms the back bone of the movie. But truly, the beating heart of the film is Cleo, the maid who is serves the family.

  1.  This films reminds me a lot of my childhood. Like their family, we also have maids, and we treat them as part of the family. I can relate to the kid who latches on to Cleo before she sleeps, because I was exactly the same way. I had a nanny who became (and is) almost my second mother. I even joke that she is my ‘real’ mom, and she was the one who really raised me.  I know the film is based on Alfonso Cuaron’s childhood and we probably have similar upbringing.
  2. As Cleo, Yalitzia Aparicio is heartbreak personified here. If this was a perfect world, she would get all the accolades for her performance here, as even now I don’t know if I could separate Aparicio from her character. it feels like it is one and the same. It is very similar to my childhood idol Nora Aunor, who played a similar role in her movie ‘Atsay.’ I feel like I know the characters, because their performances are so lived in.
  3. The film is shot in stunning black and white, and it felt more vivid than a color print. I know Cuaron shot this himself (and edited it) and the film felt so personal because of it. A lot of peopel have commented that it feels like a documentary, and I agree – Cuaron has captured an authenticity here that is unique and fantastic.
  4. Is it my favorite movie of the year? I don’t know, but it probably will end up high on my list. And if it does win the best Picture Oscar, I won’t be mad.

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