Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Room” which originally appeared here.
Held captive for years in an enclosed space, Joy Newsome (Brie Larson) and her 5-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) finally gain their freedom from a man known only as Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time alongside Joy’s mother and father (Joan Allen, William H. Macy) and her mother’s friend Doug (Matt Gordon).
So this is a big one. I was interested in this ever since I saw a trailer a few months ago. I thought it looked good enough but I never thought it was going to be this good. So the film, based on the novel of the same name, is about a mother and son, Joy and Jack, forced to live in what amounts to a single room. This room consists of a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room. Joy has been living in it for over seven years and the room, or “Room” as Jack calls it is all he has ever known since he is yet to experience the outside world. Room is what is normal to him and how he sees the world has been influenced by it. The world to him is only what is inside of the room and nothing more. Once he and Joy finally escape the room, they (mostly Jack) must readjust to their new lives outside the room. Jack must reshape his view of the world and also must relearn what is real and what isn’t. The story may not seem as much but it really is a story of fear, hopelessness and hope and most importantly a film about redemption and family bond. The film definitely pulls you through the range of emotions: sadness, happiness, anger, nervousness, etc (I will admit to almost crying at a few moments). I will not give anything away here in order to not spoil these moments. The story which was told mostly from Jack’s perspective, follows Jack’s evolution and his changing view of the world. He uses his five-year-old imagination to make the best of out where he is and what he knows. There were plenty of moments in the film where Jack goes on some “imagination tangents” where he would come up with his own stories and they were infectious. You can tell that these were happening from the child-like music and the change in the camera. Besides all of that, the film is about the relationship between Joy and Jack and later with them and Joy’s (nameless) mother. What sold me with all of this was the amazing acting from Larson and Tremblay (and to a lesser extent Allen). I thought they had great chemistry with one another and it showed (mostly in the beginning when it was just them in a room). The cinematography here was amazing here as it helped bring to life Jack’s imagination which mostly served to advance the plot. What also helps by telling the story from the kid’s perspective, it lightens up the rather dark subject matter in the film (and it is very dark). I was not a big fan of the ending but I can’t give it the benefit of the doubt by not having read the film’s source material. Overall, this is a great film driven by a great story and great acting and should not be missed as it surely likely to earn some awards.