Room

A heartbreaking story about living in captivity

This film only came to my attention after Bries Larson won every award known to man in the 2016 Award Season and the subsequent announcement by Marvel that she would be playing Captain Marvel.

The first thing that came to my mind was; “why would an up and coming A list actor be playing a superhero character.

Not that other A listers haven’t done it already of course. I mean we have the extinguished Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins playing said fantastical characters. Bries on the other hand has been known for movies like Trainwreck, Scott Pilgrim v The World and 21 Jump Street. So either ways, all of this brought Room to my attention.

Now I have a habit of checking out the box office numbers of a movie I’m about to see (especially an old movie such as this) and then checking out the Rotten Tomato score. I know this isn’t very helpful as it might lead me to be more biased and expectant (more or less) as a result of my opinion being tainted but I’ll be honest when I say I went into this film expecting to be bored. The title didn’t inspire much confidence and the box office numbers where poor. In my head, I was already asking myself why there was so much “hype” behind this film.

Two hours later (I’m writing this at midnight on the 11th day of January, 2017) I’m still trying to get myself out of the mood the film put me in and trust me, that’s a good thing…

We restart on the 11th day of January, 2017 at 11:13 am and I am more settled in to properly share my thoughts on this film.

Room tells the heartrending story of a young woman and her five year old son; Jack (played beautifully by child actor Jacob Tremblay) who have been kept in captivity for a number of years. We first hear a voice over from her son (recounting the fantastical tale his mother told him of his birth) and then we are slowly but deliberately introduced to the young woman (played by Brie Larson) as she takes her son through their routine for the day.

It’s out like a normal day but slowly you begin to realise that something is off, something isn’t quite normal here.

First off, I can’t really talk about the details of the movie because I would really like you to see it and I don’t want to spoil the experience for you but suffice to say that this is not an easy movie to watch. It is gut wrenching (at least for me it was) and Bries is absolutely believable as a woman who has lost her freedom and sense of self for a number of years.

We start of not knowing who she is or where she is but as the movie progresses, little details are filled in. Sometimes by stories she tells and other times by what the camera focuses on. It’s rare for details in a film to come out like this and the ability to do so without words while still keeping the audience engaged in the story you’re trying to tell is beyond amazing.

An empathetic soul will tear their eyes out watching this movie and anyone who has ever felt so vulnerable that they feel they have no hope will find a lot to relate with in this film. Two years since it’s release as it is just as potent as it was back in 2015.

Room is a movie filled with hope and absolutely beautiful acting particularly from a child so young. How do you get a ten year old to act like a five year old, put in him in an emotionally excruciating position and have him deliver like the best of them?

If you have an answer, I’d really love to hear it because I know I don’t.

In a time of such uncertainty, movies like Room let us know that no matter how dark the world is and how demeaning we as humans have the potential to be, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel no matter how long it might take for said light to eventually shine.

Final Score: 9/10