Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Running Time: 1hr 58
Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy
Room is a film adaptation which focuses on the aftermath of a kidnapping which is quite refreshing in the sense that I have always wondered what happens after the film ends and the characters get free - what effect does that awful situation have on the captives? Well, Room answers those questions in a truly emotive story. It gripping, as well as poetic and profound in the exploration of two characters trying to find themselves in a world that they never thought they would get to see. Any filmic adaptation will always be compared closely to the book; fortunately it is one that is loyal to its source, which contributes to the realness of the performances onscreen.
Joy and her five-year-old son Jack live in a foul shed they call Room as captives of a man they call Old Nick, Jack's father, who abducted Joy seven years previously. Believing she will be in Room forever, Joy allows Jack to believe that only Room and its contents are "real," and that the rest of the world exists only on television. However feeling that Jack is old enough, Joy creates a plan for her and her son to escape, so she has Jack fake a fever, hoping that Old Nick will take him to a hospital, but Old Nick says he will return with antibiotics.
Not giving up, Joy hatches a new plan and wraps Jack in a carpet and has him play dead in the hope that Old Nick will remove him from Room. Falling for the ruse, Old Nick places Jack in the back of his pickup truck and drives through a residential neighbourhood. Although stunned by his first exposure to the outside world, Jack jumps from the truck and attracts the attention of a passer-by. The police rescue Joy and she and Jack are taken to a hospital. Once freed from Room, both Jack and Joy have to adjust to the world and the changes that have happened.
Room is full of suspense and showcases the claustrophobic hell these two characters have to endure. It is a powerfully heartbreaking story which is portrayed and captured wonderfully by director Abrahamson as he showcases the emotive tale of the power of motherly love and of a nurtured child’s ability to find light in the dark woods of the adult world.
Room provides incredible performances from both lead actors - Brie Larson has already won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for her role amongst others, with perhaps more to come this award season. As Joy, Larson is excellent at conveying the nauseous misery of her life: having the strain of concealing the truth and the world from her son, whilst dealing her pain of missing the life and world she use to know. Jacob Tremblay as Jack is a scene stealer, and it is tragic that he just has to accept the prisoner life he was born into, but his childlike behaviour and happiness is endearing yet disheartening, as we the audience know that there is more beyond the walls he loves. Watching him adapt to the world is beautiful and heart shattering as he conveys such innocence, more than a child would normally have.
Room is a powerful film, which is emotive and intense as Abrahamson directs in a way which lets the audience into the reality of the characters horror, engaging you with their story almost making you feel their pain and emotion. Room is a must see, so grab your tissues and book your ticket.
(Written by Harley Gower)