Dear Room in Rome,
Wow, thank goodness you breathe new passion my way. It’s stunning to encounter you, as a story so simply told, that it just unfolds in front my psyche in such a way as to impact me far beyond its lush, exotic and prurient nature.
The emotional tale unfolds in a hotel room in Rome, Italy. But its title is so utterly misleading that the city, the room and it’s almost stark but classic cinematography belies this complex story by staging it in such a simple setting. It’s almost irrelevant in a physical sense where this tale occurred, but as with all things in this breath of fresh, the setting serves more than one purpose.
Most that know me and are forced to endure my recent lamentations of a film industry in decline have permission to smack me in the back of the head when they see me and remind me of this film and to admonish me to quit my bitching.
As the story begins and we look down upon a cobblestone street from a 3rd floor hotel balcony and meet the two gorgeous women that will bare themselves in this film in ways they have no clue about at the beginning. Alba is the dark, crop topped, Spanish lesbian beauty that is so charming and forthright that you can’t help but like her. Then there is Natasha, the straight, statuesque, curious, thickly-accented blonde that seems a little distant and yet present all at the same time.
Though the first encounter ends awkwardly with a quickly fleeing Natasha, it is a left behind mobile phone that brings her back. Alba talks her into staying and this journey begins. With the first blush of nudity behind us, it is time to start the unintended exploration.
Initially the beauty of their bodies and the intense bouts of physical passion set a tone that the filmmaker uses, to allow us the viewer to wallow in the physicality. However, it isn’t long before he subtly uses the flesh with so much heart and intelligence, that it becomes a vehicle for the rest of the story to sweep the viewer away. Make no mistake these two are quickly lovers on screen and spend nearly the entire rest of the film nude. What amazes is that this component flows so naturally and lends such credibility to the story and is used to not only enhance and add nuance to the film, but to provide emotional depth you might not get any other way. It’s an epiphany in its impact, and natural portrayed brilliance!
As initial curiosity beyond a physical interlude moves quickly to ‘who is this person,’ confessions begin with out right fairy tales of fabrication, but then a few things start hitting closer to home, and suddenly, they stand in front of each other in a light of pure authenticity that makes it personal and emotional and moving. It turns from a night of newly forbidden passion to something more and as they each battle with that, they embrace the moment for all its worth. Even singing to the TV music show is bonding, something fun and sweet between them.
Yet, reality lives in this room. We are brought back to it time and time again and it is as inescapable as the whole encounter to begin with. With the dawning of a new day, that moment of joyous bliss passing watching the sun come up to reality’s resignation, as a viewer I am there with them and my heart breaks and soars as they decide what to do when love is admitted. As the emotion rises and falls I marvel at the feeling of deep satisfaction at being privy to this affair at the end. Writer and Director Julio Medem captures human lightening in a bottle and it is glorious.
I just wish I could have seen Natasha’s run up close and from ground level.
With Deep Unrepentant Love,