Room (2015)

The story of ‘Room’ takes inspiration from many different real life events in which people were found to have been locked away and held captive, while not being a specific adaptation, it just makes the film all the more visceral and genuine as it feels like we are peeling back the curtain of the tragedies of these victims lives.

Having said that, a film like this lives or dies on the acting and I am very pleased to say that this film doesn’t just live, it thrives thanks for the most part to a powerhouse performance from Brie Larson. Brie Larson blew me away in Short Term 12 and I didn’t think she would ever top that performance, but in ‘Room’ she absolutely destroyed my expectations and delivered a truly amazing performance.

Having a film focus on only 2 characters throughout, with one of those characters being a child is always a very hard balance to get right, you really have to tread the line between making the child believable, but not making him absolutely irritable to your audience, something that even good films struggle with. ‘Room’ however walked the line perfectly with only the occasional misstep, which even then, could be construed as a specific action.

The child actor, Jacob Tremblay is great and delivers in every aspect, he’s believable, emotive and just has this trait that makes you care about him. He’s not perfect, but at such a young age, he can only go on to improve and he is definitely an actor to watch.

The pacing of the film is odd, the first hour of the film doesn’t drag, but it does seem to last much longer than it actually does, this could be a technique to show you how “Room” stretches time for the characters, etc. As towards the end of the hour, my heart was beating hard in my chest, it was exhilarating, tense and I was ready for a huge pay off, and then the film just kept rolling along, I then checked the time to see only an hour had passed. The end of that first hour seemed like the perfect ending for me, in fact that whole first hour was damn near perfect.

However, it is in the second hour that we truly explore these characters deeper and learn about them better and truly begin to empathise with them, and I have to say that the second hour raced by which I have to hand it to the director and editors, the flow of the film was perfect and structured excellently, with no dull moments and always progression in the story.

I do have one complaint, the passage of time that seems to occur would have helped if there was a little note saying for example “June” etc. As even though I was gripped in the film, I still sometimes struggled to connect the timeline correctly and I’m still unsure of how much, or how little time there was between particular scenes.

‘Room’ is heartbreaking, enthralling and everything you could want from this type of story, Brie Larson is a delight as always and in my opinion, this is a must see film for fans of powerful character studies.

8/10

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