Rosetta is a drama film but it utilized the way to shoot a documentary. It is characterized by hand-held shots, which keep shaking all the time, natural lighting, non-professional leading actress, and a large amount of close-up of characters’ faces. Among the whole movie, there is no background music or any fantastic visual effects, therefore, the audience can only pay attention to the story and characters. The directors have abandoned all the complicated techniques that have been developed through the hundred years but get back to the initial function of movies – to record life.
Back to Rosetta, her dream is to live a normal life with dignity. She lives in a camper van with an alcoholic mother who would like to have sex with any man if he gives her alcohol. Every time she tells others her address, they always look at her with surprise and pity. Meanwhile, though she suffers from poverty, she refuses others’ alms and insist feeding her and her mother with the money she earned. The word “Travail”, meaning job or work in French, appears most frequently in the movie. Nearly 90 percent of the movie is about how Rosetta find a job. She doesn’t care what job it is as long as she can work and earn money like any ordinary people.
There are three scenes which moved me the most. The first one is when Rosetta asked her mother to quit drinking, her mother threw her into the river during fight and escaped. Rosetta’s feet were stuck into the mud and it is hard for her to move. She struggled and shouted “Mom” again and again, hoping that her mom could save her, while her mom did not come back. She had to climb on the shore by herself. It is like a reflection of her life. She is always struggling to survive when poverty is a like the mud, trying to devour her life. She desired to rely on her mother from the bottom of heart while in reality she can only rely on her own. The second one is when she was lying on the bed in Riquet’s apartment and talked to herself: “You have a job. I have a job. You have a friend. I have a friend. You live a normal life. I live a normal life.” It is kind of like an encouragement to push herself to keep struggling to survive despite the tough life. I got touched is that though Rosetta seems unwilling to interact with people and make friends, she is longing to have a friend inside. However, in order to get a job, she finally betrayed her only friend Riquet, snatched his work and gave up the friendship and warmth that she has got from Riquet. Another one is in the ending, when she found her mom unconscious as she was deeply drunk, she finally felt desperate about life and abandon all her hope to live. She resigned, enjoyed an egg, opened the gas and lay on the bed waiting for death. However, the gas run out just minutes later. To live normally is luxurious, but to die also needs to be paid.
Like most of other realism movies, Rosetta focus on certain people from the lower class who suffering poverty and injustice. However, all the conflicts among people happened within the same class. The movie only presents what is happening, but not why it would happen. Personally, I think the way to shoot the movie make it more realistic but at the same time, make it lose the chance to reveal the root of Rosetta’s poverty and the contradiction among classes.