Review of 'Room'

room.jpg Ma (Brie Larson) is a loving and caring mother for her five-year old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) as they spend their lives together locked in a 11 by 11 foot room. Ma has been in “room” for seven years. The only natural light comes into “room” from a skylight high in the ceiling. There are frequent nightly visits by their captor who brings them food and drink, taking his fee from his abuse of Ma in bed. After finally managing to escape their problems do not seem to end with the ramifications of their incarceration taking their toll on Ma's family and, of course, on Jack who struggles to cope with a world he has never known outside the four walls of “room”.

A powerful and moving piece of cinema told largely from the perspective of Jack. Tremblay puts on an utterly convincing performance as the young boy first by portraying life in “room” then as a troubled young man struggling to cope with the dramatic change of life outside. Larson as Ma is compelling as the compassionate mother yet with human frailty as she also struggles to deal with the life that fate has given her. Together the two have an obvious on-screen chemistry and draws the viewer into their world - Both the good and bad.

The film looks amazing as it really gives us a sense of what it must be like to live in such a small environment for a young boy with the camera often at his height to give his perspective. When his world then opens up we continue to see it through his eyes and are, as he is, overwhelmed. The “room” set truly looks like it has been lived in for years with infinite attention to detail showing how much the filmmakers were willing to do to draw us into the story. The whole universe that Ma and Jack have spent their years in – Jack's drawings on the wall, the broken toilet, the marks on the wall showing Jack's height over time, the general wear and tear of the place…amazing.

This is a film that is not afraid to take it's time despite it's 118 minute running time. The goal is to understand how extraordinary circumstances have effected the lives of a mother and her child. With this we end up feeling and completely understanding what these characters are going through.

A powerful and moving piece based on the best-selling novel by Emma Donoghue, “room” is an engaging piece of cinema and not one for the easily upset though ultimately it is a story of the triumph of the human spirit.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2018-04-29

Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson

Studio: Element Pictures

Year: 2015

Length: 118 minutes

Genre: Melodrama