Room Review

A triumph in subject but doesn’t deliver the anticipated impact in its succinct length.

Not to be confused with Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 catastrophe The Room, Room as directed by Lenny Abrahamson is an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same name starring the relatively young Brie Larson and the even younger Jacob Tremblay. Room is an examination of the five-year-old Jack’s life during and after his imprisonment where he’d been kept for all his time on Earth.

An inherent risk all filmmakers take in almost every movie is the developments of characters. When a story is too crowded emotional attachments from audiences become scarce, however Room makes it much simpler, through and through all elements of the film including cinematography, dialogues and set designs are directing us to focus on Ma and Jack only, therefore narrowing our span of vision.

There is a distinct contrast between reality and innocence, as we could see from Tremblay’s intimate performance as Jack the disturbing truth that gradually unveils before us, when shown in a child’s perspective renders the scenes both more emotional and more effective in drawing us into the story. This twisted intimacy has also been achieved by the astonishing set design, where not a lot has been revealed in the room, yet we are aware of how minuscule their living space is.

The premise in a film such as Room is always a highlight and a definitive factor in its attraction. Particularly as the foundation of the setting manages to keep the plot vague yet at the same time maintaining a solid engagement, meanwhile also creating future opportunities for dramatic expansions.

The writing present a convincingly touching story with subtle, realistic depictions of emotions, which is in many ways a great achievement as the retrospective plot does have some plausibility issues. Throughout the first half of the film, any kind of stakes presented can put you at the edge of your seat, mostly due to the excellent developments which paved a firm path of progression.

In the second half the intensity and the thrill is slowed down tremendously and explores more intricately the ethical, moral dilemmas and the fascinating transitioning Jack and Ma now faces towards the outside world. What really shines here is the masterful performances by both Brie Larson as the traumatised mother and Jack the curious, yet caring and thoughtful child.

Overall Room is a worthy adaptation to a truly astounding novel, however the succinct delivery – which is a perfectly apt choice in the cinematic medium does not necessarily convey the sentimental impacts as well as the words of Emma Donoghue. Regarding it as a standalone though, it would make a very worthwhile trip to the theatre, not only is there wonderful acting involved the film also absorbs and captures the audiences completely.

In selected theatres Australia wide from 28th of January

Find Showings Here

MPAA Rating: M

ACB Rating: M

Run Time: 118 min

-Henry Pan

An overzealous film critic wannabe, Henry Pan makes a trip down cinema lane once a week, in order to decrease his ever-increasing massive watch list. You can follow him and hear all about his rants on films, life and pet dogs on Twitter @LifeOfPan.