Room can be perceived in countless ways. One, it could be anything but a claustrophobic look at the lives of a mother and her five year-old son who has been living in a ten-by-ten feet enclosed, windowless, sound-proof space for several years—a harrowing idea of imprisonment and deprivation liberty and sanity. In another hand, it could be something like a keen observation of human’s stability and the struggle to make a wonderful escape.
There is tightness in how Room comes about as a film that showcases the triumphant acting of Brie Larson in her most passionate and strenuous efforts to date. Much so is Jacob Tremblay’s portrayal as he is able to paint his character with an excellent stroke as if he has mastered the craft long since. Together, they form not only an extraordinary mother-and-son bond but a well-built familial connection that runs over blood and ties.
Nothing is there to complain about the mundane activities they do inside the aptly named Room. Since there is actually not much to do other than Joy teaching Jack and Jack suiting himself into growing up according to his Ma, it is with curious eyes to peek into the life they share. Given the abundance of hope seeping through the tiny holes of what could have been their deficit, it is more than thrilling to witness either the success or the failure of their attempt to face the real world after years of captivity.
And in the event that plans turn out well, victory is inevitable. Nevertheless, Room does not stop where it should. Rightfully, it steers into an eye-opening paradise of high-rise building and modern living, a place where no activity is small, and many, many things are happening all at once. As Jacob perceives the “outside world”—one that is away from a singular wardrobe, table, chair, toilet, sink, tub and skylight—he discovers not just what it is really like to live but also realizes that nothing compares to spending every passing minute with his mother.
Director Lenny Abrahamson did a great job in helming the powerful novel penned by Emma Donoghue. Together, they were able to transform a moving story into a life-affirming piece of work that is equally affecting and memorable. It is not difficult to be glued into Room’s well-paced tale as well as its heart-breaking message. Everything just smoothly comes across by breaking that intimidating wall that separates the film from its audience.
One way or another, we have that little space inside us where we are held captive by our own equal share of misery and optimism. There is joy in looking back at the wonders of Room and recognizing that its story of love and hope is universal. We might still be comfortably residing within it but there is more to life that is meant to be explored and ultimately to be rediscovered.
Room triumphantly tells its touching story without alienating its viewers and that is a simple feat to be remembered in the years to come.