HOLLYWOOD—Good performances happen all the time, fantastic performances come a dime dozen. Rarely will I ever tell someone to run out and see a movie, but run-out and see “Room” right now! This drama which feels like a piece of art taken right from the headlines involving that crazed man who kept three women captive in his Ohio home for years stars Brie Larson, who delivers a fantastic performance. It literally sends chills down the spine.
Her co-star is none other than youngster Jacob Tremblay who manifests a performance that one finds hard to believe from a 9-year-old. The tale revolves around Joy (Larson), also known as Ma by her son, who has been held captive for nearly 7 years in a tiny, dilapidated room. Its rotting, it has minimal amount of space, a tiny tub and a barely functional sink.
The movie opens with the presence of this precocious 5-year-old who has become accustomed to living in this small room, as his mother does everything in her power to make this ‘life’ seem as if its apart of the real-world. I’m just trying to wrap my mind with the thought of being locked away, cut off from civilization from the outside world, at the hands of some sociopath who has his way with Joy on countless occasions while her son sits in a closet, having to listen to his mother be repeatedly raped. It’s a harrowing tale to watch, but unnerving at the same time.
When mother and child devise a plan to trick their captor Nick (Sean Bridgers), as a viewer you worry that something wrong could take place. It’s a risky move by the adult to convince a youngster to play a part in a scheme to ensure their rescue, but Tremblay does it with such conviction, the only time I recall such astonishing work was from Quvenzhane Wallis in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” The buzz surrounding Larson’s performance is without a doubt warranted, but I must say Tremblay is a force to be reckoned with and can’t be ignored in my opinion for awards contention.
The script written by Emma Donoghue paces the narrative so the viewer is completely intrigued with what is transpiring from the first moment the movie opens until it’s somewhat clever ending, a node to its opening. There are so many gut-wrenching moments, but watching that scene with Ma and Jack being reunited in the outside world left me in tears; fantastic acting from both Larson and Tremblay.
Donoghue’s ability to weave a story showcasing the difficulty to adjusting to the outside world for a person who has been cut-off from it so long, to a child who has never experienced it is exhilarating to watch unfold. Director Lenny Abrahamson provides the audience with those visual backdrops and examining the psyche of those characters shows a true piece of artistry behind the lens.
William H. Macy and Joan Allen provide supporting roles that are impactful as Joy’s parents Nancy and Robert. The parents have just as much difficulty re-acclimating their daughter and grandson to the real-world, as much as Joy and Jack do.
Watching the media glitz explode once Jack and Joy are released is a slice of how the media behaves nowadays. Greedy, antagonistic, looking to get that scoop without taking into consideration those two human beings have been cut-off from the world for years. Such chaos and dramatics can send a person into an unbelievable whirlwind.
It’s almost difficult to grasp why Jack and Joy would want to return to ‘Room’ when they find themselves in a world where everything is at their fingertips. Confinement, isolation, they have detrimental impacts on the psyche and “Room” examines those effects.
“Room” is a movie that puts you into the driver seat of an emotional rollercoaster ride that leaves one wondering just precisely what you would do to escape being held captive, and coming to terms with being free after being locked away from the world for such a long time. “Room” hands down is an emotional powerhouse that cinema lovers must see to fully appreciate.