Film Review: Room
I’m a late-comer to this film – it came out a long time ago, and swept up awards left, right, and centre. Mainly they were for Brie Larson, for her performance as the lead in the film. And every single award she won was totally deserved. This film came out a long time ago, and having watched it, I realise I should have watched it a long time ago.
Simply put, this film is brilliant. If you haven’t seen it, then fair enough – me neither, until a few days ago – but if you haven’t heard of it, where have you been? Even living under a rock on Mars is no excuse; the Mars Rover could have told you all about it. The story is simple: Joy (Larson) and her son (yes that is a boy) Jack (Jacob Tremblay) live in a Room. Or just Room, as they call it. We don’t know where it is, or why they’re there, or what’s happening at all. They just live there. Eventually they manage to escape captivity (which it soon becomes clear it is), and then we deal with the fall out. It doesn’t sound like much, and honestly not much happens, but this isn’t the point. The story is about Joy and Jack, these two people, and how they cope with their surroundings. If I had to give it a genre, I’d probably say psychological horror, because that’s what it is. It’s entirely psychological.
As I mentioned earlier, Larson is spectacular. She plays the mother trying to make the best of life for her son perfectly. She elicits every emotion you’d expect her to, and exactly as you’d expect her to. I don’t know who her competition was for the leading actress Oscar, but none of them should even have come close. The other main star of the film is Tremblay, and he’s just as good. I normally hate child actors – they’re so often wooden, awkward, awful to watch – but not in this case. Not at all in this case. Tremblay is fantastic.
He plays the confused son living with his mother in strange world perfectly. He elicits every emotion you’d expect him to, and exactly as you’d expect him to. I know I’m just repeating my description of Larson, but I can’t help it. They’re equally as amazing in this film.
There are of course other characters in the film, but they’re not what we’re here to see. Not that they’re not good; Joan Allen and Tom McCanus, who play Joy’s mum and step-dad, are fantastic. William H Macy, who plays Joy’s dad, is fantastic. In fact, everyone involved in this film in any way is great. It’s a pleasure to watch.
Not that it’s perfect though; despite my consistent usage of the word, I managed to find one flaw in the film. Yes, just one. In the whole two hours. Which I think says it all about the film. The only issue I had is to do with Joy’s father – there’s a scene where everyone is having dinner, and Robert, the father, suddenly gets up to leave. Joy isn’t happy, and soon realises Robert can’t look at Jack. She confronts him, but he fails to look at Jack, and leaves. It’s a really interesting scene, with a lot of potential for further development, but nothing comes from it. There’s no reference to it, we don’t even see Robert again at all in the film. It’s really weird.
But this scene aside, the film isn’t far short of perfect. It’s 2 hours of intense psychological horror and drama, and you can’t take your eyes off it. It’s a film I highly recommend to everyone and anyone, in fact go watch it right now. You’ll thank me after.