★★★★★- This film focuses on the pivotal idea that light can be found even in the darkest of times, which is conveyed through the robust relationship of mother and son whose performances are delivered by the outstanding Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.
STARRING- Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H Macy and Sean Bridgers
RUNNING TIME- 118 minutes
Room tells the story of a young girl named Joy played by Brie Larson who was kidnapped by a psychotic abuser at the age of 17, and is forced to live in one small room, with no connection with the outside world. The start of the film meets her Severn years later, during which time she has had a son, Jack, who is celebrating his fifth birthday when we meet him. The first scenes of the film demonstrate a sense of claustrophobia as the reality of the two of them living in one cramped room really hits the audience.
Somehow, Ma has made this living hell a fairytale for Jack who has come to the conclusion that “there’s Room, there’s outer space, then all the TV planets, then heaven”. Jack has a completely different idea of reality than a normal child, living in room is the only life Jack has ever known so helped by his mother’s tales, his imagination has been allowed to run wild about what could lie outside of room. But, Jack seems to be happy as he lives a life without knowing what he could have, expressing a pivotal message of humbleness. The pair’s only connection to the real world is “Old Nick” who comes in every night seeking satisfaction from Joy, whilst Jack sleeps oblivious to the happenings just outside of the wardrobe he sleeps in.
Now Jack is five, Ma decides he is old enough to cope with the truth of the world outside room, in a heart wrenching scene where Jack’s vision of reality is shattered and he is faced with the harsh truth of this cold nightmare he lives within. 7 years without contact from the outside world and out of a desperation for a better life for her son Joy decides life within room has become interoperable and hatches a plan to escape.
Brie Larson delivers a truly remarkable performance as she struggles to keep hold of hope, at times it is evident she has immersed herself into the world she has created for Jack as this is preferable than thinking about the horror of reality. The unbreakable bond between mother and son brings another dimension to this film, with many heart warming scenes which remind the audience of the importance of family and love, which is a message reiterated throughout the film as it is this bond which allows them to escape their nightmare.
From here on, the audience is captivated by the process of adaptation Jack makes to the real world as he struggles to differentiate between fantasy and reality. However, leaving room is not the fairytale that Joy had been imagining for 7 years due to the changes that have took place since she was kidnapped. Through this we see her come to terms with the new life outside of room and the process of accepting the last 7 years of hell, something which has affected her more than she ever knew herself.
Led by the emotional performance of Jacob and Brie, this film is one of the most touching and humane films to have been released in recent years, as it manages to deliver an uplifting message through one of the most despairing situations imaginable. It is a raw but unnerving story due to the relatable horror it has become as recent news headlines suggest this it is no longer a story but instead a harsh reality. In addition, this is one of few films to truly grasp the complexity of the relationship between mother and child, delivering a powerful message at heart which many of the viewers will appreciate with gratitude. Not only this but the honestly and integrity of this film, distinguishes it from any other as it leaves you feeling uplifted and reminds you that light can be found even in the darkest of times.