Ma has created a whole universe in 'Room' for five-year-old Jack, where they have both lived for Jack's whole life. But when Ma decides they have to escape, she risks everything to give Jack the chance to make a thrilling discovery: the world.
Shallow and rather voyeuristic indie from the point of view of a kidnapped mother and son is probably a sincere recreation, but has little to say, and fails to follow though on its ideas. Well acted by Brie Larson, who deserved a better script.
The ultimate film of two halves
- Room review by MD
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You rated this film: 2
This film has received almost universal praise, and let me say straight away that several things about it, notably the performances of Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, are worthy of that praise. However, taken as a whole, I think the film is decidedly mixed, with a contrived and manipulative plot, a script that veers far too often into unbelievability and unwarranted melodrama, and a rather-too-neat and simplistic finale all being key weaknesses that offset the good points.
Essentially, it is a film of two halves, the first excellent, the second poor (and increasingly annoying!). The set up in the first half is quite believable, and despite the 'difficult' subject matter, very watchable and engrossing. This all changes with the ridiculous nature of the boy's escape.
Thereafter, it seemed a wholly different film. The set up now was the opposite, very unbelievable. There were all manner of plot contrivances and character changes in behaviour that seemed merely the whim of the author/scriptwriter, with a TV interview scene that even for American television seemed completely OTT. Despite the feel good ending, for much of the second half I felt the film was suggesting that the world outside Room was worse than Room itself, which just made no sense to me.
I sat down to watch this in a very positive frame of mind because from all I had heard I genuinely thought it was going to be a pretty special film. I came away feeling I had been conned; the ingredients were there in the first half for a truly great film, but the direction it then took was at best disappointing, at worst simply dead wrong.
Brie Larsen deservedly won best actress academy award for this movie. Her co-star, Jacob Tremblay, is also hugely impressive. No intrusive background music and non mawkish, this Candian/Irish production is well worth viewing. It's based on a work of fiction but there have been like scenarios in real life. The author of the book apparently based this story on a real life incident.
In some hands this could have become a run of the mill thriller but instead it is something far better. An intriguing premise that slowly unravels into something that leaves you gasping for air and trying to hold back the tears.
Excellent performances and direction (although Macy feels wasted) from all involved. It does leave a lot of questions unanswered but take it for what it is, a story about a mother and her son and trying to find their place in the world and that this entails.