‘Room‘ is one of the most powerful films of the year, no, more than that. Remarkably directed by Lenny Abrahamson, impressively adapted by screenwriter Emma Donoghue from her own novel, is a fortuitously life-affirming tale of motherhood encased in the fabric of contemporary horror flick. A heart-rending story of the potential of maternal love and of a cherished child’s power to discover happy light in the gloomy dark groves of the filthy adult sphere.
‘Room‘ gets unlocked with the breathing sound, cartoon drawings partly glued on a dusty wall, a white sink, a skylight and the whispered phrase – “Go back to sleep”. This is the squalid 10ft x 10ft shed in which five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) lives with his “Ma” (Brie Larson), a young lady who fell through a rabbit hole (like the girl in ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ novel) when she was abducted 7 years ago. For Ma, this is a jail, but for Jack, this so-called room is a whole world. Hat tip to Danny Cohen for his close but wide capture of things. Because of this noteworthy cinematography, “Room” looks as huge to us as it does to Jack: There are potholes beneath the bed where an egg-shell snake hisses, there’s also the river of toilet cistern upon which paper boats go for a sail, and a palanquin of the wardrobe in which Jack is carried by dreams during his sleep.
‘Room’ is neither a horror film nor a film about crime. It’s structured as a breathless escape thriller from two prisons. One tracks the day-to-day psychological activities of melancholy in captivity inside the room – a real physical prison. And the other traces a difficult adjustment with grandparents outside the room – a kind of emotional prison.
Jack can’t measure a world beyond the four walls that is not stored in his imagination. And while his mother tries to explain it to him, you get the sense that their escape seems as impossible as fantasy. Their jailor is a brutal psyco named Old Nick, who gives permission according to his wants. How long have they been in this room? What ghastly destiny dragged them here? Stop reading my review right here and go watch it because the movie heartbreakingly doles out the answers, making us feel unbearably tense about these doomed souls in a claustrophobic premise.
The acting is strong across the board, with Larson (I staunchly predict she wins Oscar) draws out her fierce motherly devotion & nerve-wracking desperation. And Trembley, an expressive long-haired moppet, a rare kid actor who can fetch innocence and resilience at a time. They two are tremendous around this trembling realm of universe. Once ‘Room’ breaks its doors, much weight is put on the choices made by the different individuals involved, but the film never drops its clutch to pulp our hearts as much as it can. Rather than jump to sensationalized conclusions or hackneyed plot themes, the film keeps the actors working amazing to accomplish its unsettling emotional experience.
‘Room‘ is the sort of slant and slim film that lives or dies relying on its performances. Director has the enormous artistry to believe his cast & crew to disclose a divergent world to us through a mom’s wretched soul and a child’s naive eyes. And oh god, what a goddamn bewildering world it is!
My Rating: 5/5
Filed Under: Satya Reviews