Tuesday, December 22, 2015

[Review] Room

Not to be confused with Tommy Wiseau's so-bad-it's-good cult masterpiece The Room, or the film James Franco is currently making about it. Room (no The) is a dire and compelling mother & son story, starring the consistently tremendous Brie Larson.

Joy (Larson) and her 5-year-old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) have been living in a claustrophobic bunker-like shed for years. In fact, it's the only thing Jack has ever known, so he has no real experience or knowledge of the outside world. How did they end up there, you ask? Well, it isn't really known for sure, but there is a delusional and despicable man keeping them holed up, only occasionally visiting to supply them with a minimal amount of necessities (and some other nasty things). It's not completely inaccurate to call the premise a serious and heavily dramatic version of Netflix's charmingly quirky and hilarious comedy series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt".

Jacob Tremblay is very convincing, and the film probably wouldn't have thrived very well if he hadn't been. Then there's Brie Larson, who has proven to be one of the best performers in the game right now (household name or not), especially when she has the opportunity in a leading role (seriously if you haven't seen 2013's Short Term 12, get on that). She's full of nuance and emotion, yet she makes it look so easy. A well-deserved Oscar nomination should be coming her way.

The film is an immediate thought-provoker. How exactly does a mother go about raising a child in such a desperate, trapped situation. What should she teach him and what shouldn't she teach him? Does she lie or tell the truth? How does one define let alone describe the world to someone that has never been outside? Can that innocent and (extremely) sheltered child's imagination break through the confines? The narrative of the subject matter is handled gracefully, mining for every bit of conflict, as well as philosophical and psychological details. And yes, there is suspense--because Joy is developing a difficult plan of escape for the both of them, which yields some major stakes. That raises another question: How the hell does one adjust to the drastic change of, well... everything.


1 comment:

  1. Great review! I really loved this film, even though I cried through about an hour of it. I thought it worked better than the book did, I liked the stuff they trimmed.