In the interest of full disclosure, I dreaded the thought of watching “Room”. I heard nothing but positive things about the movie, and a cursory glance of the synopsis sat with me like a stone.
The subject matter is dark: it’s about a child born in captivity after her mother was kidnapped for several years. No doubt about it, “Room” had the markings of a compelling drama, starring a wonderful actress in Brie Larson, but the themes of the film made me uneasy. Surprisingly, “Room” focuses more on the young boy, chiefly, how his innocence helps his mother and family members come to terms with the horrible experiences of captivity. “Room” is an exploration of how motherhood serves as a font of strength during trying times. The film is incredibly touching and the performances, headed by the very capable Brie Larson, will keep everyone rapt with attention.
From the outset, I was a little nervous but my fears were assuaged quickly. Credit goes to the director because they chose to tell the story from the perspective of young Jack, played by Jacob Tremblay. To Jack, Room is all he has ever known, from the dingy television set to the small closet to the plywood walls laced with his drawings. The setting becomes almost charming until their captor appears on his nightly visit and we are reminded that their situation is dire. Brie Larson accurately captures the subtleties of the maternal instinct on screen. She dotes on Jack, doing all she can to keep him hidden from her tormentor, feeding him and teaching him all she knows about the outside world. To the film’s credit, Jack and his mother’s relationship is realistic. The boy isn’t always well-behaved and the pair do run afoul of each other on occasion. While the relationship isn’t always perfect the pair depend upon each other for support and the close bond gets them through their harrowing experience.
“Room” is an exceptional film because it delivers a compelling human drama touching on numerous themes all backed by excellent performances. This a story about familial love, coping with trauma, guilt, and the power of childhood innocence in the face of the darker natures of mankind. It’s odd to say this about a film based on such a depressing premise but “Room” is a really inspirational film. It’s a tightly scripted drama featuring stellar performances and a script that is bound to make someone in the room cry.