Reviewing Roar

The Woman Who Ate Photographs

This episode takes place in Australia. Robin, a wife and mother of two, has to drive to her childhood home to pick up her mother, who’ll be living with them as she’s suffering from dementia.

The opening scene shows her helping her eldest son, Todd, who’ll be moving out and going to university, pack up. Despite there being a bit of tension between them, Robin tries to stay optimistic. The next scene features a conversation between her and her husband, who asks how long Robin’s mother will be staying with them, as she’s not the easiest person to deal with. Robin, who’s seemingly under a lot of stress, asks her husband not to make her think ahead.

At dawn, she sets off. After being on the road for a few hours, she finally arrives at her mother’s house. Her mother, Rosey, isn’t too thrilled with the idea of leaving her home and moving in with her daughter. While going through her mother’s things, she comes across a photo album with many photographs of her during her childhood. She then eats one, and when she does, she gets a vivid flashback of the moment captured in the photograph, almost as if she’s living through it once again. This becomes a habit of hers throughout most of the episode, with each flashback being more vivid and realistic than the last.

An eventful road trip with her mother sees them exploring the small town of Robertson and spending the night at a motel. In one particular scene, Robin and Rosey stop by a hiking spot that they once visited many years ago. Robin then rushes back to the rented van she’s driving to grab a jacket and the photo album. While doing this, some of the photographs get blown away by the wind, and as she’s distracted and trying to pick them up, she doesn’t notice her mother wander off. Panicking, she frantically searches for Rosey and eventually finds her sitting on a rock, unaware of where she is.

When they finally arrive home and have settled in, Rosey’s husband comes across the photo album and passes a comment about most of the photographs missing. Robin then confesses to having eaten most of them, telling him that she feels overwhelmed with everything that’s going on and is, consequently, trying to hold on to the way things used to be.

In the final scene, Rosey is spending time with her grandsons, Robin stands by the doorway watching them, before being embraced by Todd. Robin and Rosey look at each other, and smile.

The end.

I struggled a little bit to write a review for this episode because I found it not to be as symbolic as the others.

This episode mainly explores change and nostalgia. Change, as inevitable and necessary as it is, isn’t always easy to deal with. Robin’s father died years ago, her mother’s health is deteriorating and she’s basically switched roles from being a daughter to a carer, and her son will be going away for university. There are a lot of changes in Robin’s life, most of them coming all at once, and this has left her feeling nostalgic and overwhelmed. In a desperate effort to hold on to the good old days, she has resorted to eating photographs that represent happy and carefree moments in her life.

The scene where some of the photographs are blown away by the wind could be an indicator of a harsh truth; as beautiful as memories are, we have to let go at some point. While the protagonist is distracted by this, her mother wanders off. This could be a sign of how life can pass you by if you’re too invested in the past. I think this is relatable for a lot of us. Time flies by and before we know it, treasured moments are all part of the past. It can be hard to accept this and move on.

What did you think of this episode? Leave a comment and let me know!


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