Room is a Canadian Irish Drama directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Emma Donoghue based on her own novel that was published under the same name. The movie stars Brie Larson, as the mother imprisoned in a room by her abductor, and Jacob Tremblay, as her son who was born in the same room and has never seen the outside of its walls. The cruel conditions of their living forced Joy, the mother, to convince Jack that room is world, and that there’s nothing outside it. A strategy that proved crippling when the time came for her to plot a plan for escape where Jack has to play a vital role. In spite of all the risks, the plan succeeds and the duo are released, only to be faced with several difficulties in adapting to their new situation and trying to live peacefully with Joy’s family.
Following the familiar storyline of abduction, isolation and captivity, Room managed to inject two more ingredients that managed to transform the movie into an entirely fresh cinematic experience. First, we have the son, who was deliberately deceived in perceiving his own environment for the sake of his own sanity and safety, and second we have the events that took place after the release of the victims, where we followed how bad they struggled to find a place in the world.
Classifying “Room” simply as a psychological drama is an understatement. The true character of the movie is reflected in the amount of beauty that it contains. The first half of the movie takes place in a dark, cruel, small space that felt rather big and welcoming while we were seeing it from Jack’s perspective. The second half takes place in a much larger and brighter place that felt so narrow and strange once seen from the same perspective. The whole time we’re faced with situations that we don’t want to live and conditions that we don’t want to live in, however I don’t believe I will ever have a problem rewatching the movie, because Jack’s way of describing things makes it beautiful in a very poetic way.
Good luck holding your tears while you’re watching “Room”, mostly all kinds of tears, tears of sadness, tears of joy, tears to vent the cuteness overdose supplied by Jack’s character, and tears of sympathy with Joy and the choices she has to make. Portrayed perfectly by Brie Larson, Joy’s hardest moment comes when she needs to risk her only reason for living for the sake of his own salvation. The contrast between how determined she is to see her plan through and how heartbroken she is for having to do that to him, is the peak moment of her otherwise flawless performance. It’s kind of hard to believe now that I was first introduced to Brie Larson by her role in the shallow comedy “21 Jump Street”.
I can’t say that the consistency of Brie Larson’s performance was matched by similar consistency in the pace of the events. The first half feels much better tuned, to my surprise actually, because you could make a movie of 2 hours around the events of that half alone and yet, nothing felt rushed or badly introduced to me. Things were a bit too fast on the second half though, I don’t think the build up for every transformation was well served. I’m mostly disappointed because it all seemed avoidable to me, the movie is only 2 hours long, I don’t think it would’ve been a bad idea to add 15 minutes to that .. I mean, we have watched movies of 3 hours where nothing ever happens!
I also wouldn’t say that the movie did so well in making sure all the logic switches were checked, especially in the escape plan, but I don’t think I have the right to stop for long at this, especially with my eyes so red from crying most of the time, again, thanks to Jack. Jack was portrayed by 9 years old Jacob Tremblay who is a true discovery in this cinematic year, because of how emotionally demanding his role is. I would love to give most of the credit for Jacob Tremblay’s performance to the director, Lenny Abrahamson, who appears to have embraced a quick cuts technique to avoid having to request too much for too long from Tremblay and edited the whole thing perfectly that nobody in the academy felt that Larson’s performance was under-challenged.
“Room” is the black horse of the cinematic season and the greatest way to pay credit for independent cinema as well as authors getting the chance to turn their own production into screenplays.