Vallarta Life: Movies We Love

Vallarta Life: Movies We Love


We don’t often write movie reviews for this blog but are so inspired by the recent Mexican film Roma, for many reasons. We were far into the film, a scene at the ocean in Veracruz, before we astonishingly realized this movie was shot in black and white. There is so much color in the culture, the people, and the language that hues and tones burst out of each scene. It’s a testament to the colors of Mexico, which has drawn many of us here, to brighten our lives and that of others.

Roma, which is love in Spanish spelled backwards, is a movie packed with everyday Mexican life. Though is takes place in 1971, there is much that has not changed and life of many generations continues to thrive.  Roma is a section of the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico City. which during the era it is set, the early 70’s, was an upper to middle class vicinity. It was beset with decline over the years, and more recently taken over by hipsters.

Alfonso Cuarón wrote, directed and took over the cinematography of Roma and is known for a variety of successes, including the highly acclaimed Gravity; his first major success. Other projects include Y Tu Mamá También; Children of Men; and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Bent on authenticity for Roma, Cuarón gathered furniture from his family’s assorted homes throughout Mexico; most of the movie is filmed on location, relying on few sets. Anyone who’s been in a furniture store in Puerto Vallarta will see the complete accuracy of the upper level establishment where Cleo, the protagonist, goes with her matron (employer) to buy a crib for her unborn baby. There are no details untouched by authenticity of the era.

Vendors will be recognizable by anyone living in Puerto Vallarta; their street calls remain the same over many decades.  Unless you are Mexican or have lived in the country for long enough to recognize him, the alfiliador who appears in Roma will hold little significance but it is a major turning point in the film. As Cleo sits mourning in her humble quarters, Adela, another maid, calls out to Cleo the presence of the afilador, the knife sharpener, warning his arrival with his familiar piccolo. In Mexican lore, the afilador carries portent, and is commonly used to scare little children into behaving. Adela is letting Cleo know it’s time to pull it together and get on with life.

There are subtleties throughout. Airplanes flying overhead in many scenes, as well as the opening and closing, represent the constancy of air travel above Mexico City, a major hub, and they also indicate a vast world outside this small one encompassed in a massive city.

The ocean scenes will have an effect on those of us in Puerto Vallarta, and Alfonso Cuarón does nothing to lessen the deafening roar. There is no doubt to the attraction, the pleasure, and the imminent danger.

We struggled with some of the language without knowing certain characters were speaking Mixtec, an indigenous idiom, but the film is subtitled. Roma is currently available on Netflix.

 Que es cómo es.


About Boardwalk Realty Vallarta:

Here are a few of our guiding principals at Boardwalk Realty:

“First of all, we really want to get to know you,”   When we know you, we can tailor home tours to your tastes.”

Secondly, there’s the legal side of owning in Mexico. “Besides our own experience, we can save you a lot of time and money by offering you complimentary consultations with our partner attorneys.  The nuances of how you buy here can save you a lot of money when you sell. It’s important to know what you’re doing on the purchase so that when you sell you can best use any tax advantages. This service is free to our clients and can be invaluable.”

Both partners agree that the most important element of Boardwalk Realty is our ongoing service and commitment to our clients after the sale.  We are both passionate about protecting the investment and security of our clients.  “Our clients become our friends, we see them socially, and we treat them as we would like to be treated ourselves”, adds Mike.

Boardwalk Realty Puerto Vallarta represents buyers and sellers of real estate in the entire Bay of Banderas area, and will soon add a rental and property management division.

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