The tale begins with Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani) who has recently gotten rid of her pimp boyfriend as he has married another woman. Delighted Mamma Roma seeks out her 16-year-old son Ettore whom she has not seen since infancy as she struggles with her guilt of deserting Ettore when he was a baby. She is also ashamed of her past as a prostitute and wants to start over as a fruit vendor and be the mother she never was for Ettore. However, Mamma Roma has no skills in raising a child and is even less equipped to handle a teenager that has been neglected since childhood. This is in the backdrop of Mamma Roma's old boyfriend threatening to unveil her secret to her son, and her political thoughts of injustices in the 60s Italy.
Mamma Roma is an exploration of the symbiosis that exists between mother and son, but Pasolini removes this connection between the Mamma Roma and Ettore as she abandoned Ettore at infancy. The abandonment leaves the audience with the gap between Mamma Roma and Ettore. This gap is closely examined as Mamma Roma and Ettore initially reunite in order to later drift apart due to years of missing parental guidance.Read more ›
This was my first time watching a film by Pier Paulo Pasolini and I was extremely impressed. I plan to watch all of his films in the near future. As I stated before Mamma Roma is a story about a whore (Mamma Roma) and her son (Ettore). I won't write any more about the story than what I already have. A review that reveals too much about a film really doesn't serve as a review but rather as a boring synopsis.
I would like to say that Criterion has done an amazing job with this DVD. The special features on this 2 disc set are really good and contain some very rare documentaries and short films. The DVD also contains Pasolini's previously banned, short and shocking film "La Ricotta." It stars Orson Welles and is a gem worth buying all it's own. It's the best special feature I have ever seen on a Criterion disc. Die hard fans of Orson Welles should really pick this DVD up. Even if they don't like Mamma Roma that short film is worth it alone.