Indie Film Review “Room”

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First, the Recap:

Complete and total solitude. Segregated from everything that is the outside world, if indeed there truly is such thing. To be brought up in confinement, taught and told what is and is not reality.  And despite the utter aloneness and exile said life had brought about, there has ultimately been an acceptance of it. It simply is.  And so, a small, 10 by 10 space becomes home, filled with the things associated with it–shelter, food, clothes, television–yet all a veneer hiding a darker secret. And such is daily life for now 5-year old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his 24-year old mother, Ma (Brie Larson). In a place Jack knows only as “Room”, the two survive each day together.

Counting on routine to be the guide, Ma strives to provide a fulfilling existence for Jack within the concealment of a less than optimal and woefully disquieting circumstance, having already lasted 7 years.  A man, known only as Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), comes to Room periodically to deliver basic necessities and “visit” Ma while Jack stays sequestered away in a wardrobe closet that acts as a bedroom for him. But as Ma begins to falter under the mounting pressure and weakening of her emotional pliancy, she devises a plan to allow Jack to escape and ideally find help.  But even as he initially resists her, the notions about what is real and waiting on the other side of Room becomes the even more frightening proposition to face.

Next, my Mind:

Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue and directed by Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, “Room” delivers what is unquestionably one of the premier theatrical independent releases of 2015. A complete triumph in the lyrically poignant, emotionally raw, painfully sincere, and utter encompassing of the human condition when faced with a daunting and soul-breaking state of actuality, the single location setting that dominates the film’s first act is equally heart-wrenching as it is engrossing.  The sheer impact of realizing the mundane, wearisome, and humiliating reality being faced by the two characters is so potent and earnest in its presentation, this reviewer had more than a fair share of tears, anger, joy, and anxiety all rolled into just the first act’s execution and narrative, which only increased to different levels once the second act’s awakening occurs for Jack especially.

To say Jacob Tremblay is a revelation here would be an understatement. The magnitude of his presence on screen far defies his age, and he emotes so effectively opposite Larson, that he might as well have actually been in the situation for real. Enacting an intense candidness as Jack, and the real humanness of this boy and the way he interacts with Room, the only world he knows, is truly astounding. And Larson absolutely deserves serious consideration here as Ma, providing the parental backbone for Jack that desperately attempts to outweigh the inner turmoil she battles every single waking moment. The fervor and passion she defends Jack with is a heartwarming thing to see, despite her frustrations about telling him what the outside world is. And the moments of freedom for both of them, and their respective reactions when things change, is both inspiring and unrestrained.

Overall, “Room” is one of the most potent and real representations of looking at the state of existence through the eyes of both innocent and broken lives, and how a tiny space can be a great big world, and sometimes how the outside world can actually be its own Room.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!



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