[Film Review] ROOM

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Trapped in squalid small space called simply ” Room”  five year old boy Jack ( Jacob Tremblay) and his Ma (Brie Larson) live a simple existence. There are no windows, a heavy door, a simple sink and bathroom. Their days consist of making art projects and exercise but not much else.

Daily Old Nick ( Sean Bridgers) visits the two, in order to supply them with food and groceries, however they are not allowed to leave room. In a desperate attempt to escape the confines of room Ma teaches Jack about the outside world that he has never seen. She then teaches him  how to play dead and trick Old Nick into getting them out.

Once out Jack raises the alarm and the police rescue Ma from room to reunite her with her parents and the outside world. She faces the difficult task of reconnecting and then teaching Jack all life on the outside. As he experiences snow, sunlight and trees for the first time Ma begins to question herself and the job that she is doing helping Jack to learn to live in a world that he has never seen.

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The movie is dark and heavy and the themes are quite thought provoking as the plot slowly reveals itself. At first it is confusing as to what is happening and the more the minor details are revealed the viewer begins to at first feel shock and then empathy for the characters. Listening to the young Jack narrate the story through innocent eyes is touching and a little sad at times.

As the young Jack begins to learn to flourish in the world his mother takes a turn for the worst, Jack must give her the strength she needs to be able to survive.

Whist the plot could be based on a number of cases that have gained media attention over the last few years, at times the story is a little flat. When Jack’s maternal grandfather ( William H Macy) struggles with the reality of what is happened the emotions of the character and plot line are not really played out strongly. It could have been developed much further. Likewise when Ma decides to attempt suicide the ideas are half baked and not really  evolving as it could have. It makes the story seem rushed and somewhat unfinished. It’s a shame, as the concept is great but the half cooked story line is not. Perhaps it is because is some sense it is seen through Jack, but even then this is only partial. It would have made for more interesting story telling if certain plot lines and sub plots had been allowed to develop.

Overall the film has the potential to be great, it will leave you thinking that is for certain. The themes of the triumph of human spirit are quite touching and nice, packaged together in a though provoking parcel, however with the lack of character development it remains just mediocre as it is.

 

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