ROOM || 2015, Ireland / Canada / UK / USA || Drama || Directed by – Lenny Abrahamson / Written by – Emma Donoghue / Produced by – Jeff Arkuss, Emma Donoghue, Rose Garnett, Hartley Gorenstein, David Gross, Ed Guiney, Chantelle Kadyschuck, David Kosse, Andrew Lowe, Keith Potter, Tessa Ross, Jesse Shapira / Music by – Stephen Rennicks / Cinematography – Danny Cohen / Editing by – Nathan Nugent / Production design – Ethan Tobman / Starring – Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers / Running time: 118 mins.
A woman and her five year old son Jack are held captive in a small shed, held captive by their kidnapper. Jack was born and raised in the shed, and in order to protect him, his mother has shielded him from knowledge of the outside world. So, when the opportunity to escape arises, he awakens to a new and strange environment.
The psychological connotations of the story of Room are handled with great care. This is thanks to Emma Donoghue’s fantastic work of adaptation; an adaptation of her own novel of the same name. Lenny Abrahamson’s carefully handles the delicate subject that could easily have been exploited, and turning it into an excellent coming of age drama where the dark aspects, never underlooked, are wrapped by a coating of warmth and sensibility.
A driving aspect of Room is its perspective, largely driven by the character of Jack. The narration often takes us right inside his head, and Danny Cohen cinematography paints the story in brushstroke like movements. The innocence brought by this particular viewpoint also allows for interaction between viewer and film on some other aspects of the story that are left grey. For instance, the marginal progression of his mother’s ordeal in reconnecting with the outside world is kept at a distance, but is nevertheless every bit as engaging, also thanks to the fine balanced performance by Brie Larson. – 4/5