‘Rooting for Roona’ is an emotional documentary

Promotional poster for Rooting for Roona. (Courtesy of IMDB)
Promotional poster for Rooting for Roona. (Courtesy of IMDB)

The 2020 Netflix original named “Rooting for Roona” is a wonderful but emotional documentary.

This documentary is about a girl born in India named Roona, who was born with hydrocephalus, which is an abnormal build-up of fluids in the head that can damage the brain and cause a lot of swelling to her head. After journalists published articles about Roona and her condition, it gained a lot of traction and later went viral. Roona then ended up getting multiple surgeries to help with her condition, but unfortunately she passed away at 5 and a half years old before getting her last surgery due to a breathing deficiency.

I would recommend this film to teenagers and adults. It’s an emotional true story but it’s a story that people may not have heard of and it can teach others about health conditions like these. It can lead others to go out and try to research organizations that support treating conditions like hydrocephalus. It is also a good documentary to watch if someone wants to watch a shorter film that is still impactful and keeps you invested in her story.

Some of the people that were shown in this documentary apart from Roona are Fatema and Abdul Rahman, who are Roona’s parents, as well as Sandeep Vaishya, who was Roona’s doctor. He was also Roona’s surgeon and he believed that she could have survived. He had just as much hope as Roona’s parents and her family.

The film techniques and music were very well done in this documentary. The music added in to set the mood of the specific scene and sometimes there was no music at all. The filming captured the scenery well. The background visuals were both vibrant and dull colored depending on the mood. The voiceover for the captions were also well made, because Roona’s parents both spoke Bengali.

The message of “Rooting for Roona” is to be hopeful, have courage, and be supportive. Throughout the whole film, her family and people around the world who knew about her story have been rooting for her survival even though they were just strangers. This documentary also showed the unconditional love between a mother and her child. Despite Roona having a health condition, she still could show emotions and her mother did everything she could to keep her happy and safe. Her parents never gave up taking care of her and giving her treatment, especially her mom.

I had a moment of silence after finishing it and I felt a little heartbroken. Everything was very well done and it taught me a lot about the condition Roona had and how her surgeries worked. The film kept me invested in her story and there wasn’t a time where I was bored watching it, even though it made me a little emotional at the end. Even though the documentary was short, it did an amazing job with keeping me rooting for Roona.

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