The harrowing reality of Room is heart-wrenching, and at times difficult to watch. The film is based off a novel by Emma Donoghue, and is directed by Lenny Abrahamson and stars Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in this twisted disturbing tale of a mother and son struggling to survive in captivity, or as the title refers in “room.”
The film begins with Ma (Larson) and Jack (Tremblay) living in a teeny tiny living space, and at first the audience might think they are just poor, they live, eat, shower and go to the bathroom all in one room. Then the plot thickens when the antagonist, Old Nick is what he is referred to, (portrayed by Sean Bridgers) shows up with food and supplies for Ma, when Jack is supposed to be sleeping. Jack is wide awake in a closet, and has to endure the pain and trauma that Ma must endure nightly, which is being raped by her captor.
The scary part of Room is that although this particular story is not based on a true story, there are so many real stories to date where young girls are kidnapped and held in captivity and their captor treats them as sex slaves. In result of that the girls obviously get pregnant and have these children in captivity, such as Jaycee Lee Dugard or Amanda Berry, and are forced to raise them in these horrific living situations. In Room, Jack has never been outside of Room, he has never seen the light of day, never saw grass, or felt the sun shining on his face, and that is what makes Room captivating to watch. The thought that there could be people all over this world suffering in captivity and some with children by these controlling sadistic people and never experience life or what’s on the other side of their door is truly horrifying.
The acting in the film is fantastic, Larson portrays Ma as this strong willed warrior that fights back tears of the horrors she endures so that Jack can lead as much of a normal life as she can make it. There are moments of weakness for her when certain events occur in the film and she has breakdowns and the trauma of her tragic life consumes her and her family, and that also makes Room interesting to watch. Tremblay was absolutely spellbounding in his performance. For being a young child himself, and portraying a child that has never seen anything but what is on the inside of a shed, is mesmerizing. Despite Jack’s disturbing childhood, he at times is an effervescent child that wants to play and have fun, like any child should. He showcases that even if people in this situation are ever released or escape their captor, life is not okay. The trauma, and devastation of what was done to them settles in and the fact that if a child doesn’t know life as any different as being held as a prisoner, is scary.
In conclusion, Room is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys films that focus on real life situations, remarkable acting, and anyone over the age of 17, as some scenes are not recommended for children. Also, to anyone who believes the thought that maybe this film can bring some awareness to such a tormenting situation, and stop these twisted scenarios even occurring, because nobody in America should be a prisoner against their own will, if a jury didn’t put them there.