It is finally time for me to take a look at Ireland’s most recent award-winning hits, and one that has made waves worldwide. There’s no real need of speculating about “Room” being good or not, so let’s dive right in!
Based on a best-selling novel, the story is told from the viewpoint of a young boy named Jack (Jacob Tremblay), as he and his mother (Brie Larson) have been held captive in a small room for the past several years. Since Jack has been born within the room and knows nothing of the world outside, he finds joy and imagination for the incredibly cramped space. But an opportunity for them to escape allows for him to finally witness the vastness of the outside world, while his mother struggles to re-connect with the life she has lost since being captured.
Like I said, there’s no need beating around the bush on this one – it is magnificent. The first forty minutes or so are spent entirely within the confines of the room space, and it really is an achievement of set design and camera placement that they manage to tell the story so well from it. Everything gives an indication to the long period of time they have spent here, all the personal items they own and improvised toys are small in size, but deep in applying depth to the narrative. Brie Larson knocks it out of the park, mostly from how her arc transitions throughout the film. She is entirely dedicated to her son, always seeing the best for him in what are bleak circumstances, but then she falls into self-despair as she realises that the life she had has been almost severed. In itself it is a very sad tale, and the way which Brie captures all the emotions and gravity to her performance is just amazing.
The same levels of praise can be given to Jacob Tremblay, or even more so since you are kind of in awe at how such a young actor can deliver such an honest, believable, and very professional performance all the way through. He allows the audience to find wonder in the small prison which they reside in, since for him, it is all he knows to really exist. His view of the world is naive, but wonderfully creative in the way only a small kid can believe in. But then he grows in a very short time to face the new world as well as comprehend the real life difficulties his mom is going through. It is hard to tell if a genuine future career in acting lies before him, since you can’t predict much form a role at such a young age. But if he does take it on, and get the right films and education in theatre, he could be a bright star.
The director Lenny Abrahamson does a fantastic job at bringing the novel to life, while also making it fit the cinematic format. Even the way in how the panels of the room could be removed so as to get the right camera shot really helps to tell the narrative in such a confined space. He got some excellent performances from the whole cast, and helped connect the two major stages of the film together in a way that didn’t make them feel separate. “Frank” was a movie that I felt showed a lot of big promise even if it didn’t suit everyone’s taste, but this will almost certainly go down as his breakout directorial role.
Issues? None really, there wasn’t anything that stuck out as something I found flaw with. Even the very simple score had a lovely sense of innocence to it, and worked through the film whenever used. I like as well that the movie ends on a hopeful note, but also one that shows their future will not be an easy one. Of course it couldn’t after everything they had been through, but we can see them getting through it.
“Room” is just a fucking fantastic movie, simple as that. Working with a very small budget, many cooks around the hob, and relying heavily on two actors to hold everything together, it could have just been another blip on the Indie radar. But the love, respect, and fascination in the source story runs through every frame of film, and without relying on any real gimmick or action. You have quite a simple drama, where almost everything works exactly as it was desired to. It was a joy to watch, and will be a future classic.
Thanks for reading!