Room (2015) Review

Room is the kind of film that makes me begrudgingly love the Oscars. I doubt I would have known about it if it hadn’t been nominated. Every year, there is always that one gem that just grabs my attention at the nick of time and I am so glad to say that it was this movie.

Going into Room, I had no idea what to expect and by that I mean literally, I had NO IDEA. I hadn’t seen a single trailer, I didn’t know who the director was and I didn’t know what it was about. All my pre-existing knowledge can be summed up in one word, ‘poster’. Can you believe that? In today’s day and age, I can still go into a movie completely blind. Just that feeling is so surprising and uplifting.

Okay, so with all the descriptions of how I felt going into the movie let’s get into the review. Room is a drama directed by Lenny Abrahamson that stars Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. The film is about a mother and son who have been living in a garden shed (or what they refer to as ‘room’). The mother has lived there for 7 years and the boy was born and brought up there (It begins with his 5th birthday). As far as the plot goes, that is all I am going to say. Needless to say, the subject matter is dark and quite uncomfortable to watch at times.

The first thing that obviously comes to mind when I think about this movie is the performances. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay offer powerhouse performances, and that is not a description that I allow myself to use very often. Brie Larson won the Oscar and deservedly so. She portrays a caring mother who suffers from serious trauma and depression, and she never oversells it. Each scene she was in felt genuine, sad and heart breaking at times and the same needs to be said for Jacob Tremblay. As far as child performances go, this is certainly one of the best I have seen in a very long time. To be honest, I thought he stole the show. What Jacob Tremblay did so well is that he portrayed a child who experiences things for the first time in a very genuine way. He felt like a 5 year old. In today’s films where young adults try to act like adults, it’s nice to see a film that portrays children faithfully, they are sensitive, caring, short-tempered, annoying and all that. Jacob Tremblay portrayed that perfectly and like Brie Larson, each scene he was in felt genuine and heartfelt. When I saw people in this movie, I never saw actors acting, I saw real people. When actors can achieve that feat, you know you have seen great performances.

Something that I also loved about this film is that it chose to tell the story from the child’s point of view. We see the story unfold from his perspective, which is why I believe that the film warranted itself to be a bit lighter in tone, considering the dark subject matter that it is dealing with. The film looks great, thanks to the cinematography, as each shot is filled with childlike wonderment even in the most mundane of things. The screenplay (which was written by the author of the book) was also very well written, the dialogue feels natural, and in a film like this that is what you really need.

Credit where it is due, this a very well-directed film. Down to the performances, editing, cinematography, a film needs a good director to pull this off and Lenny Abrahamson was up for the job. I honestly don’t know how he managed to do it, but he did. Whether it came down to choosing the right actors or the score or the cinematographer, he really brought the best out of everyone involved and for that, I am pretty excited to see what he will do next.

Guys, I think I have said my piece. Room is a rare gem that you have to allow yourself to experience, it is a great film that offers some of the best performances, directing and writing I have ever had the pleasure of viewing and for those reasons alone, I highly recommend it.

Rating: 4.5/5

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