Movie Review | Room



Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Emma Donaghue, Room brings the story of a 6 year old boy and his mother who are trapped in a shed by their kidnapper, known only as Old Nick.

Ma, played by Brie Larson, must get through each day knowing that she may be trapped in the room forever, but her son, Jack, who was fathered by their captor and born in the room does not realize that the world he knows is not the real world. He has only known life as it exists in the four walls of the small room in which he and his mother are contained. His world is made up of the routines, stories and games that his mother creates to try to provide a semblance of normalcy for him to understand, if and when they are freed.

The two of them rely on each other equally to survive each day by exercising, cleaning, reading and cooking from the food drop off that Old Nick brings them, which as expected, comes at a price. During those visits, Jack stays hidden away inside the wardrobe, trying to remain quiet, but as he grows older, he becomes more curious as to what is going on each night, and what the relationship between his mother and this mysterious man really is.

Though some parts of the film were somewhat unrealistic, it is no surprise that the most suspenseful part of the film is when they finally do escape. Though the film does not dwell long on the logistics or mechanics of their escape plan, what they do spend a good deal of the remainder of the film on, is the dynamics of Ma and Jack once they rejoin the real world outside of the shed. For me the most interesting part of the movie, and an area that we don't often hear about, is what happens after captives are freed. Especially since the 2013 escape of Ariel Castro's captives, this subject has been one of interest. Room offers a perspective into the mind of a kidnapping victim, both during captivity and after they are freed.

Much of the film centers around Ma and her struggles to re-acclimate to reality and her internal conflict between her hate for her captor and her love for her son. This could be arguably one of Larson's strongest roles, as she vividly captures the emotional turmoil her character face as she tries to put on a strong face for her son when all she wants to do is break down.

Room has the makings of a horror film: trapped in a room, mysterious bad guy, mundane activities that are about to get ugly. It captures the horrors of a terrible crime and explores the emotional and psychological toll that it takes on the victims, their family and those around them.

Room will be released in theaters on October 16th.
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