Thursday, January 28, 2016

Movie Review #371: "Room" (2015)

Ticket Price: $7.25
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 58 minutes
Image Source
Joy (Brie Larson) was kidnapped at age 17 and has been held prisoner for the past 7 years in a small single room shed. While imprisoned, she gave birth to a son named Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who has never known life outside his small, windowless room. When Joy and Jack are finally rescued from their prison, they must face the terrifying reality of life in the outside world, a world Jack never even knew existed. 

"Room" is one of those movies that is brilliantly performed, excellently written, and fabulously directed, but at times is excruciatingly painful and emotional to watch. The very subject matter of this film can and probably will take a huge emotional toll on the audience simply by sitting through it. Hell, I know I cried my eyes out and was on the edge of some sort of panic attack right in the middle of viewing it, which is something that doesn't often happen to me. It's so visceral, so raw, the things we see happening on screen feel like they have happened to us. Both Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay put on award worthy performances as Joy, also known as Ma, and Jack, as they carry first act of the film entirely on their own. Jack's entire world since his birth has only existed in a small roughly 10 by 10 shed. It has no windows and only a single skylight, which is the only view Jack has ever had of the outside world. Joy has told him stories his entire life, making him believe that there is nothing beyond their little room, just outer space. Jack has never known or understood that they are being held prisoner. Joy has told him their captor used magic to bring them their food and other necessities, which is so extremely powerful in its own right. The stories she told Jack were not to lie to him, but to make the situation a little more bearable, the exact same thing any mother would do for their child.

A situation like this is hard for anyone to imagine. A movie like this is heart-wrenching to watch unfold, though it makes it a little less unbearable when the performances are as captivating as are they are in "Room." As showcased in the trailer, eventually Ma devises a plan to get Jack outside the shed and tells him run for help as soon as he gets the chance to do so. He succeeds, and they do eventually escape their imprisonment, but their torment is not over just because they are no longer being held as prisoners. Jack knows almost nothing of the outside world and has never been away from or spoken to anyone other than his mother for the 5 years he has been alive. Considering the nature of their situation, the media has a particular interest in Joy and Jack's story, but it's something she would rather not relive on a constant basis. Unfortunately, Joy may have to endure constant and persistent harassment in exchange for life outside her prison. Joy must also deal with the changes her family has gone through since she was abducted as her parent's Nancy and Robert, played by Joan Allen and William H. Macy, have changed as individuals and as a couple. Robert has been constantly struggling with coming terms the horrific sexual, mental, physical, and psychological experiences his daughter had to go through at the hands of her captor, experiences which, happily for Joy, resulted in Jack, the one thing that kept her going during her capture.

"Room" is a film everyone should see because of its raw realness and its ability to make you say "wow" over and over. It's not, however, the type of movie you can or will watch over and over, unless you want to feel depressed and need a good "crying movie." Brie Larson is a shoe-in for best actress and she deserves the trophy for her magnificent, layered performance. Jacob Tremblay is a marvel at only 9 years old. We think he got snubbed at the Oscars because his talent at such a young age is undeniable. The story is both distressing, heartbreaking, and uplifting all at once. It will put your own life and troubles in perspective. Lenny Abrahamson has directed a fine piece of cinema in "Room."

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment