What would you do if the only world you knew was restricted to two 10-by-10 walls and a ceiling? Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, Room introduces us to Ma (Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblay), a mother and son held captive in a garden shed. But when Jack’s mother finally finds a way to break free from captivity, her son must come face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world.
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Room is a harrowing and immensely moving film. The film is basically structured into two halves, and by now it’s no spoiler that the second half deals with their readjustment into the outside world, and Jack’s first time outside of room. The film is thematically complex, at times overwhelming but at other times, genuinely compelling to watch.
At its core, this is a movie about motherhood and Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay give excellent performances that their mother-son dynamic drives this movie. Brie Larson is riveting as Jack’s mother in an emotionally resonant turn that should make her the front-runner for the Best Actress Oscar. And just as good is newcomer Jacob Tremblay who gives an incredible revelatory performance as Jack.
Lenny Abrahamson’s presence behind the lens is felt as well and I think his unique camerawork that involved presenting the world through Jack’s eyes really gave the film a visceral feel.
But there are moments where I feel Room falters significantly and that happens towards the latter half of the film where it feels like the story just runs out of steam. There are moments that feel tedious and just do not bring too much to the story. Its this second half that brings down this movie significantly.
All together, Room is a decent film that doesn’t exactly live up to its intriguing premise but even though it feels a little drawn out, it packs a worthwhile emotional punch and is worth seeing just for the performances themselves.