Your life is stripped away in a moments notice. The life you are living, along with the family and friends you love, have vanished from their very existence. All that you are left with is a new home, a space no bigger than a small shed in someone’s backyard.
Sounds like a living hell right?
Now imagine being a five year old boy and that shed is the only world you have ever known. This is what Joy (Brie Larson) and her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) are having to sustain in Room. Director Lenny Abrahamson gets up-close and personal in a beautifully tender though severely vehement story of survival. The characters find themselves picking up the pieces of their soul that are now unrecognizable, never quite seeming to fit back in to place.
Joy fantasizes about the house she use to live in along with her family that lived in it. She’s been in captivity for seven years thanks to Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), a truculent monster who can givith and taketh away at the snap of a finger. Each night he barges in and rapes her, which is how Jack is born in to this infernal environment. Jack cannot see beyond the four walls that surround him. Just like any child, his mind has been exploring what he sees, feels, and experiences in a naive yet virtuous wonder. Knowing he is growing up in an abusive, frightening place, it’s heartbreaking to witness how much trust he has in the reality he is living in. In spite of, Jack is Joy’s love and hope, and most importantly, their fighting chance for freedom.
Still, what happens if they accomplish it? What’s in store for them in the real world?
Room just isn’t about being trapped in a 10 x 10 shed. It is as well a state of mind an individual can allow themselves to be detained in. There is the physical damage that can be easily identified, but what is going on in the inside is perhaps even more catastrophic than on the outside. This is why apprehension and fascination collide when Abrahamson gives the audience a glimpse of Joy and Jacks’s liberty.
None of this would have nearly the impact it does if it was not for Larson and Tremblay, and their superior portrayals of a mother and son solely relying on each other to make it through each day. Larson is devoured in desperation and devotion with the young, budding Tremblay never being showy and incapable of fabricating any emotions whatsoever. Incredible performances by Larson and Tremblay display horrific suffering while astounding resilience breaks through. And while they unconditionally deserve to be praised, Joan Allen, who plays Joy’s mother and Jacks’ grandmother, uses every scene to be the woman that’s a necessity for this film. She’s strong, candid, and represents a different perspective of how their lives will be forever changed.
Room is a wrenching, harrowing psychological drama with an abundance of heart even if it’s drenched in darkness. Brilliantly, the director and his cast disclose a humane story in reply to the inhumanity that exists today implementing a thoughtful, devastating film about unlimited imagination and the unwavering bond between a mother and child.