Cine Reviews: ‘Room’ (2015)

Love is something that can never be taken away. In particular, the deepened love existing between a mother and her child. Director Lenny Abrahamson gathers two amazing young talents and places them in ‘Room’, wherein their greatness is effected into a story consisting of simplicity in its top form.


Room is a one of a kind drama that may have been crafted like no other, it goes directly to the point in terms of it being plain in all entirety, but creates gorgeous obstacles first before letting us reach the great astonishment that it has been keeping all the time. It portrays the world in the innocent eyes of a child, and with that, it keeps us wondering about what’s going on without using too much of our brainpower for it presents everything with clarity for us to fully comprehend, but does it so thoroughly unique that it also makes itself a marvelous treat for our hearts to take in. The film fairly executes the narratives in total yet profound plainness that attracts our attention from the film’s beginning and onward. The opening minutes of the film are put there for us to get attached to the two leads, and it makes us question why they are just situated in that ‘room’ for unapparent reasons that are yet to be discovered. For those moments, we are kept into isolation in that closed space, and we are left to observe the truth behind this mother and son’s seeming confinement .


With that, the film obligates us to gaze upon the wonderful albeit seemingly distraught relationship a mother is having with her child. Shyness of revealing story details is inherently present, but the reason why such disclosure is applied just overall adds more speciality  for the film itself; almost to the point that it gets made out as an accomplishment. As the film makes its way to where it will eventually go, our intelligence concerning the film’s narrative begins to grow, and with suspicion from what seems to be “exposed” in flickers comes feelings of wonder and excitement. Starting from there, things become a little more beautiful, but they are never toned down to further follow the film’s compellingly thrilling vibe. The consequent scenes appear to be more and more distressing, and it creates space for Brie Larson’s Ma to become furthermore convincing with what she had to go through with and for her son. The sincere attachment which got shown in the process becomes a little too warm, and it turns into something affective with all the intensity laid out from the character background given to Ma. A whole world is created for Jack and Ma, and that world renders itself as lone and tender as they cope for themselves.


The film’s establishment of that “world” also known as “room” and the deceitfulness of the fact that it is their own is sorrowfully touching. Maybe so touching that the segregation of this mother and son might just tap into us and may cause us to feel utter despair for their situation. The film’s mere idea of keeping a child off of the world only to find out that that decision is regretful is itself an oddly realistic maternal conflict put into the film that is placed there to make a connection to the audience, and/or better yet, a creative device to make an ordinary story a little more out of the box. The structure of the plot and its option to get driven in obscurity  grants permission for us to get thrilled once the twist arrives. The plot’s curving of direction is quivering, and it almost turns the movie into something else different from what we saw beforehand.


But prior to that, powerful tension is exuded in, and moments are created unwittingly unsettling and disturbing, sometimes they even make us cower but amidst all that, they are all beautifully conscientious; making everything look intensely dramatic and bound in poetic reality. Now, for these remarkable times in the film, we are sedated with total innocence, just like the child. Together with him, we explore what goes beyond the room, and we are able to sympathize with his behavioral intrusiveness. In the beginning, finding out what the film really is about puts you into a state of high curiosity and learning out about it will make your belief on the truth surrounding the mystery something to be considered as both heartwarming and calamitous. Once the revelations are shown in the open, the answers to our questions gets us torn apart with the earnestness stated in the context of what is revealed.


We get more and more pained as we find out more about the Jack and Ma’s background by reason of them having a lovingly authentic synergy which got us emotionally connected for the most part. Midway into the film, it gets psychological in such a way that the cognitive effects of a mother’s severe tenderness and safeguarding glows bright and glares like a signal for our hearts and minds to pick up. The film’s ending is entirely covered in emotions and is a huge sequence that shares time with Jack and Ma after the extreme measures she had to take for the sheltering of her child. It’s a set of wonderful scenes pieced altogether, and as a whole, they are marked with stamps of affection. In the final moments of the film, one scene worth noting involves them returning to their past and moving on. As they do that, glimpses of horrific images that we saw just earlier rush in, and they occur for us to fully remember that the message this film leaves is permanent. So much so that it gets burned into our thoughts for us to obtain it with utter wholeheartedness. The reasons for separation from the real world gets conveyed with artistic qualities of being believable, and they are aptly exaggerated to add emphasis to the very meaningful points that it tries to get across.


In Room ,we are joined with Brie Larson whose amazingly realistic depiction of handling distress reveals her talent, and Jacob Tremblay whose characteristically perspective-based portrayal of incisive inquisitiveness motivates us to think just the same as him. Larson shows a lot of psychological weight in her role, and the mere look on her troubled facial expressions tell us that she spared no expense to get in a “real” character based off of true people. Meanwhile, Jacob Tremblay’s Jack is an adorable attraction himself, but this kid shows and proves that he’s something more than just that. The emotions this child lets out flows in a river of authenticity. Whether it’s the eccentric behavior bound in curiosity or the harsh yells, you can easily sense that he isn’t playing around with the role he took on. The simplicity seen from his weird cobbling of words is presents the fact that the reason behind all that makes him pitiful, yet understandable considering the efforts her mother has made for  him. The moment where he gets set out into the real-world is fulfilling as we witness his joyfully conflicted emancipation from a sheltered life, but as we find out he is still missing out the fun he had with his mother in “room”, wrenches our hearts a little further.  With all that getting witnessed and sensed, it could be simply said that, Jacob Tremblay, an amazingly proved kid actor, has more than enough reason to be a worthy competition for The Academy Awards. Technically, it isn’t only him that deserved some praising, but Brie Larson as well for she proved to us that she can take dramatic roles perfectly.


Room’s natural, self-evident, smooth narrative flow is enough to grab you and keep you moved with all that it brought without the hefty need of certain depth. It relies heavily pure on heartwarming provocativeness and utter honesty to provide an illuminating tale to a terrible situation and is non-regretfully dependent on its two fresh and marvelous leads, and in response our soulful human cores gets tapped heartily. Safely said, director Lenny Abrahamson’s ingeniously genuine compassion is perceived in Room’s stirring reasoning of themes, and it thrills us with full respect for its amalgamations of filmic verisimilitude and clean & clear inventive veracity that is expressed throughout.

4.5/5 stars

* Room is still showing in select Philippine cinemas. Rated PG by the MTRCB. Distributed by Pioneer Films.


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