Genre: Drama |
Runtime: 135 min
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Starring: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey
MAGIFICENT PHOTOWORK, SLOW-PACED STORYTELLING
Alfonso Cuarón tries very hard to make an authentic and realistic narrative with this film. He has created a chronicle that depicts about a maid named Cleo, living in Mexico during the 1970s. This is a vibrant portrait of a middle-class family that the film follows through under one year. The drama between the family members doesn’t always feel authentic for its plot as it has an extremely slow pace in how it’s telling its story.
Combining with a contrast black-and-white cinematography, it throws itself in a family drama with several long and pan shots. Sometimes these works and sometimes it just doesn’t. The way it tells, showcase instead of a mature and a privileged narrative with an intimate touch of a working-class family where the drama centers around Cleo.
The music is barely noticeable, the sound is decent just like the acting. The culmination thrives to become written through ninety percent memories, by Alfonso Cuarón himself. The epic or the driven storytelling is something it lacks very faithful of. It tries to be sadly poetic in its own art form. It doesn’t bring much as a story as you might hope aimed for. Most of these things are ordinary things, like divorce, childbirth and occasionally demonstrations from students. There are some memorable scenes that sort of sticks to you after but it’s just a few minutes since it has a lengthy runtime; it should’ve been shorter and more rigorous to the content but ends up submissive and distractive.
However, it aims for a realistic story here. The actor’s performance doesn’t feel like Cuarón focus. Instead, it’s of a familiar setting in a different setting. Maybe it’s the constant untimely yet deprived choices these characters that are important to the narrative. No, not really. It’s how it’s told with stellar imagery with an incredible photorealistic environment that makes you step in this bruised environment Cleo lives in.
What she goes through during the film’s runtime is probably a common event for many women in that time and in the present day. It displays a vast injustice to the female characters and showcases these men as idiots, with all the right to do so. The intimate portrait of this family works better from the middle toward the end. The drama rises step-by-step, with its own comical touch. With it’s constant and faithful cinematographic work on camera it provides a glimpse in a different world; a chaotic and injustice world that threats the next one unfair.