Make room in your heart for ROOM

I went to see Room last night. I loved it.

Let’s be honest, a young girl is raised to fear an older man. At least I was. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t talk to men unless a parent is around. Don’t walk anywhere alone. Especially at night.

I grew up knowing that kidnapping was a reality. I remember stories of young girls who disappeared and only re-appeared after they were killed.

I have been fascinated, like the world, with stories about young women who have been kidnapped and have been trapped by their captures.

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I’ve seen the book on various shelves and have even picked it up multiple times. But I have never read it. I’ve been afraid that the story is too sad to read.

I watched the movie in hopes that I wouldn’t have nightmares the next night. Luckily, I won’t. Because this story is not about what happened to Brie Larson’s character Joy or Ma as her son calls her, but about the emotional journey she and her son are on.

Jack, Jacob Tremblay’s character, has never seen the outside world. In fact he believes that the entire universe is the small room his mother and him are confined to. When his mother reveals to him that she has been kidnapped, he reacts to it like any five year old. He’s confused, he doesn’t understand, he takes long to accept it.

His mother desperate for them to get out comes up with a plan to trick their captor.

SPOILERS AHEAD.

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Like I said, this film is not about the things that the kidnapper did to Joy but rather the emotional journey of these characters. Jack learns to experience the world as a normal child. He has to slowly adapt.

However things are different for his mother.

As someone who had been desperate and nostalgic of the world she once knew coming back into the world is difficult. When they first get out she is the one who is smiling and open to it, her son is scared and reserved.

As the film progresses, he becomes more open while she finds herself more and more secluded in her own world as she tries to cope with what has happened to her.

I loved this film because of how real it felt. How each character reacted in the way you would expect them to without being predictable. A father who can’t look at his new grandson as he is a product of his daughter’s rape. A grandmother who tries hard to reconnect with her daughter. A daughter who finds that life has gone on without her as if she were really gone.

The acting is superb. Jacob Tremblay isn’t just a cool kid that’s floating around Hollywood. He carries the film. He is the boy not an actor, he is Jack.

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Brie Larson is brave. She doesn’t wear make-up for most of the film. She even has hair in her underarms, of course this is realistic, but I wonder if I under any circumstances would allow anyone to see me like that. Even if I were playing a part.

But beyond looks. Because looks aren’t acting. She says so much by saying so little. When the TV host asks her why she didn’t consider giving up her child, so that he could be free when it was born her face shows her heart-break. I don’t doubt that everyone in the audience wanted to yell at the TV host. Here was a woman with nothing, with a man who abused her. And she had a son, a beautiful son, the only light in her heart, a smudge of hope. And to have given that smudge of hope to her capture to give him away would have killed her. Not because she would have lost the hope, but because there would be no guarantee that that man would not have killed her child. He wasn’t well, that is clear in what he has done to her. She had to protect him.

But for a second she doesn’t see that. She allows self-doubt to enter her. And all of that is seen in her face. That is acting.

That is why she is winning all the awards, and it’s why she deserves to be winning them.

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