Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay
Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson
Vuvu Rating: 8/10
This emotionally complex film opens with the daily routine of the main characters Ma, played by Brie Larson, and her son Jack, played by Jacob Tremblay, who are imprisoned in a small soundproof shed that they call Room. Their captor is only known as Old Nick and ritualistically rapes Ma whilst Jack finds sanctuary in the wardrobe and dreams of an imaginary dog named Lucky. This tiny Room has been Jack’s entire world his whole life, to a point where he believes that there is nothing outside it. A unique universe is created for the 5-year-old by his mother, where he personifies the only objects he has ever known inside the tiny room including bendy spoon, wardrobe, and egg snake. It becomes evident that there is a strong bond between mother and child and they keep each other going through the ordeal of confronting what lies beyond the locked door.
The film spends a long time inside the room, helping to create a feeling of confinement that resonates with the audience through the use of tight close-up shots and muted colours. This keeps the audience trapped in Room along with the characters and helps to make the desperation for them to escape even more compelling. The only reprieve being the glimpse of blue sky and rain drops from the tiny skylight.
It also highlights the different ways in which the characters experience the room. For Ma it’s a prison and an entire world that goes “all the way to the end” for Jack. The way in which she maintains a life as close to normal as possible is both reassuring and unsettling within this four walled prison. The Oscar-winning performance by Larson is raw and understated, and at times skirts on the edge of being exceptional. For his part, Tremblay gives an excellent and real portrayal with enough balance between emotional depth and the innocence of a child.
The child’s ability to find light in the world allows the film to show how the human spirit transcends adversity. Director Lenny Abrahamson manages to capture the childlike naiveté and a sense of hope in this film that can be likened to an allegory of growing up and leaving childhood behind.
The film has the ability to absorb you into the characters’ tiny world whilst keeping you on the edge of your seat praying they escape Room.