Alfonso Cuarón’s Masterpiece
The Netflix Original 'Roma' had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, and people are hailing it as the director's best film of all time.
The Three Amigos have been controlling the Academy Awards and filmmaking world for majority of the last decade. With Guillermo del Toro receiving acclaim for Shape of Water this year, Iñárritu for legendary films like The Revenant and Birdman, it’s now time for Alfonso Cuarón to attract this year’s buzz. Since the release of Gravity in 2013, Cuarón took a brief hiatus from the film world and worked for television. This five year period was more than a break; it was the perfect time needed for Cuarón to come back with his best work yet.
The black-and-white, Roma takes place in Mexico City during the 1970s. Paying homage to his previous films, like Y Tu Mamá También, Cuarón implements realism to explore the life of a middle-class family during an unstable political and economic environment. The head of the family, played by Marina de Tavira, cooperates with her domestic worker to keep their family afloat, while conflicts between the militia and university students continue to combust.
Cuarón has taken inspiration from his youth and adolescence when creating the vision for this movie. In order to make the narrative sincere to the culture and political climate in the country, he keeps the events as authentic as possible. For example, it wouldn’t be a film set in Latin America if the government wasn’t involved. This region of the world is known for its unstable, chaotic, and corrupt institutions. To comprehend and teach about these reoccurring systematic issues, Cuarón emphasizes the impact on neglected populations, specifically the working class.
With everything happening in the United States in terms of race, this film could do great things. Political discourse has been utilized to throw blame on people of color as an excuse for the conditions of the country. With this, there has been a rise in White Supremacy and hate crimes against people of color, particularly Mexicans and Muslims. Government officials aside, the media is one of the leading factors for this increase. Since negative or bad news brings in more profit for these networks, programs tend to revolve around minority-related crimes. By coming off as ignorant of crime committed by White people, there is this misconception born in the minds of audiences that minorities are the most guilty. This simply isn’t true, but the illusion makes it seem so.
Cuarón reveals within Roma the sentiments of oppressed people within their own country in order to humanize them. If more films and entertainment outlets represented this perspective, then influence would spread. The power of television and film has the ability to trump prejudice news. This is why Cuarón diverging from typical Hollywood narrative and back to his roots is so important. His growing recognition in Hollywood grants him prestige, and with that comes potential for effects.
Since the film will be played on Netflix, its outreach will be phenomenal. After the disappointing finish of Mudbound in the Oscar run, Roma gives the network another chance to be recognized as the pioneer in a new age of film. Already having to go against much adversity, the network continues to grow and brand exceptional material that is leaving some studios worried. To now showcase the work of an iconic Mexican director under the words Netflix Original, Netflix’s entertainment empire is only starting.
Roma‘s release date on the streaming platform is yet to be announced, but its rumored to be slated for a winter release.