Saturday, November 7, 2015

Room: Movie Review


   


Delivers an emotional punch with sadness, ferocity, intensity and tenderness.
Room is a story that hasn’t been told in this way before, and is probably something you couldn’t imagine since the main plot is very foreign to the majority of us. I also believe that Room is at its best when you go in knowing as little as possible. So to that end, this review will be spoiler-free and frustratingly vague. I’ll apologize for that now, but you’ll thank me later. 2015

Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson

Screenplay by: Emma Donoghue
Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay

What we know is that Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and Joy (Brie Larson) (or “Ma” as young Jack calls her) live alone in a small room. They have a bed and closet, toilet and bathtub, fridge, stove, and table, but nothing is in good shape, and only an old TV for comfort. It’s Jack’s 5th birthday and he’s very excited about it, but it pains Ma and the audience that all she can provide for him is a cake. The few things that Ma gets, like meager groceries to bake said cake, come from a man she calls Old Nick who is their only access to the outside world.
Jacob Tremblay as Jack and Brie Larson as Ma.
Credit: Photo by Caitlin Cronenberg, courtesy of Elevation Pictures.
Part of the experience of Room is the world that Ma and rising star Brie Larson has created for young Jack, how she has explained that their room is the entire world. He’s fine with it, but she has to dig deep to find the strength. Personally, that part was made more interesting by solving the mystery of why they’re in this room and how they got there. Just after that has been solved, it’s time for the movie to shift gears, and it does.

The movie marvellously amps up the intensity and gives us a very tense and suspenseful thriller. And that is accomplished solely by the twists in the story, the atmosphere and child actor Jacob Tremblay. The emotions can leave you without a breath due to the unknown beasts of humanity. Humanity at its best can save the day, but humanity at its worst can destroy lives, and you never know what you’re going to get.

To keep the interest level up, the film also explores effects of the media. Not in as much detail as Gone Girl, but it is reminiscent of that movie. It’s also very beautiful, but sad, as it explores the transition from childhood to adulthood, and the bonds between mother and child. From sad to harrowing to dramatic and touching, Room delivers an emotional punch.