Released: 01/22/2016 Rated: R
I can’t talk about Room without getting into specifics so [SPOILERS AHEAD].
OMG, y’all. This movie…
Truth be told I don’t even really remember seeing the trailer around the time it came out. Honestly, that doesn’t surprise me. More than likely it wouldn’t have preceded any of the types of movies my husband and I went to see in theaters. The main reason I wanted to see this movie now was to see something else Brie Larson has been in as Captain Marvel just came out and I realized I’m not very familiar with her work. We loved her in Scott Pilgrim, but we hadn’t seen anything she’s starred in yet.
In case you’re unfamiliar with it it’s about a young woman and her son who finally gain their freedom after living in a single room for seven years. The boy, who was born in captivity, has never experienced the outside world. So, I don’t know what I was expecting, I wasn’t even really clear on the premise, but I can tell you that I got a much better movie experience than I thought I would. This movie is powerful, intense, and heartfelt on so many levels. It really sticks with you once the credits roll.
Normally movies like this would start with the abduction, extend over her captivity, and then end on her escape. But the run time of Room is divided half toward the end of captivity and half out. Jack’s escape was such a tension-filled sequence. All you want is this kid to get away and follow his mom’s instructions but at the same time you feel for him just staring up in awe at the sky that he’s never seen but through a small cruddy skylight. The moment the police officer starts connecting the dots of Jack’s obscure replies to figure out where he came from fills you with equally intense relief. But then you’re right back into that tension waiting for mother and son to be reunited. You have no idea if they’re at the correct house, or if Old Nick went back to hurt Joy, or what. The shot through the rain covered window of Joy running up to the cop car in a blind panic looking for Jack is a powerful blast of fresh air that you need after that roller coaster experience of emotions.
My husband and I really appreciated that the story extends way passed their escape and shows Joy and Jack struggle outside of the four walls they’ve known for so long. Joy’s parents have since divorced and her mother’s boyfriend has moved in. She’s feel claustrophobic with Jack hovering around her all the time because Jack has only every had her and never really had any toys that they didn’t make themselves. He doesn’t know how to be on his own. She returns home to her seventeen-year-old’s room and gets depressed over how her friends went on to live their lives and she basically lost hers.
There’s the media frenzy camped outside both the hospital and the house when they first get back. And then there’s the reporter who asks questions that inspire doubt in Joy as to how good of a mother she is. Her very existence has revolved around keeping her son untouched by the man who abducted her. Everything she’s done has been for him. But this one seed of doubt along with everything else she’s going through spirals out of control to the point where Jack saves her life a second time.
I’ve said multiple times that I’m not the biggest fan of dramas, but I think I loved this movie. It’s effective storytelling with characters you care about and feel for. And that’s what I ultimately want out of a movie.