I’ve always liked Brie Larson. Ever since watching “Short Term 12,” the first movie that I ever reviewed on this site, I have her found to be a powerful, up and coming actress. She knows how to command a screen and can act with such subtle yet prominent emotion that brings you in and really makes you feel the true meaning of the events at hand. This acting ability continues into “Room” and is one of the main forces behind the success of this film. If Brie Larson isn’t recognized for her acting talents with an Oscar nomination I will have lost all hope in the Academy to truly evaluate all actors on an equal playing field whether their films are from independent, small scale production companies or larger, Hollywood run industries.
It isn’t just Larson’s acting that is good in “Room”; this movie is perfect all around. It is the perfect blend of various emotions: hope, despair, love, sadness, frustration, turmoil, relief, innocence, and anxiety. This movie is probably relatively unknown to most people so here’s a synopsis of the events. A girl and her son live in a room, which we find out is actually a shed, because this man is keeping them there against their will. In order to preserve the innocence of her son, Brie Larson’s character, affectionately called Ma by her son Jack, tells him that this room that they live in is the entire world and that everything outside of Room is simply space. When Ma decides that they need to escape Room, it changes everything for young Jack and puts his relationship with his mother under the ultimate test.
This movie is really split into two halves: the first half being about the characters time spent in Room and the second half revolving around the fallout from Ma’s decision to attempt an escape from their imprisonment. Each half is balanced so well by the director, who uses subtle techniques such as having the camera very close to the characters faces when they are in Room to add to the feeling of claustrophobia. Also, the film discusses and answers almost every question imaginable. It is a very deep script that really takes its themes to the edge of what they can provide, and as a result, gives us a complete movie experience about the topic at hand. And it isn’t just Larson who is good; Jacob Tremblay, who plays young Jack, is brilliant in his role and plays off Larson with such grace that their chemistry adds an extra layer to this already deep film.
This film isn’t an easy one to watch and definitely belongs on the “Best Movies You Only Want to Watch Once” list. It is full of tough, passionate emotion that is so relatable because most of us understand what it is like to be a small child and have such a strong dependence and undeniable love for a parent. I think what really makes this film different from other emotionally powerful films are the slow parts in the film that are deliberately placed throughout to make you really reflect on the situation that Jack finds himself in. Just imagine thinking that your entire world is this one room and then finding out that is all a lie and there is actually an entire world that is millions of times larger than what you previously believed to exist. It is so overwhelming for a child to be put in that situation and the film constantly reminds you of that while simultaneously showing that it isn’t just a child who can experience stress from a situation like this. Just because someone is an adult doesn’t mean that they have all the answers or know what the right thing to do is. Each age group has its issues it has to deal with and each has different required responses. This is a film that stays with you for a long time and still bewilders you with the thought of what could possibly going through these two individual’s heads. And somehow, this movie allows us to have a glimpse into understanding what this unfathomable situation would be like.
Room (2015): 4/4 stars