Room, not to be confused with Tommy Wiseau's disasterpiece The Room, is a rather powerful and engaging drama about human willpower, patience and survival against the odds. The film struggles in the first half, and then finds its feet in the second, much like young Jack, the main protagonist.
Brie Larson is great as Ma, living in captivity in a tiny shed which she has now labelled as a place called "Room". As Ma, Larson looks completely rundown and unwell, and she sells the tiresome routine of her dreadful repetitive mundanity in which she lives in, day after day. Balancing determination, complete and utter loss as well as uncertainty, this is a seasoned performance from the young star who has come a long way since I first saw her in 21 Jump Street.
Jacob Tremblay is a great young talent who has a bright future. Without being whingy and obnoxious, this little star is crazy talented. The highlight of the film and his performance is the moment he is laying down in the back of a pick-up truck, he opens his eyes and sees the world for the first time in its full beauty and scope, the look of pure awe in his face is very powerful, and with his acting and the atmospheric score playing out together, it makes for an affecting moment where the film truly lifts excels.
Once the film takes place outside of "Room" itself, it gets better. I felt there was too much time spent in the little box space, and there was very little compelling drama in the beginning. Routine became repetitive for me as the viewer, but once the world becomes integral for the newly free Ma and Jack I found myself becoming more and more invested in the film, especially when Joan Allen turns up. She's a brilliant actress and is so likeable, heartwarming and grounded in this film.
Whilst I never found myself feeling truly moved, there are some great moments in this film, such as the interview scene where Ma is asked some pretty deep questions about her and Jack's future and their tough past. There's a lot of filler in the way of prolonged shots of characters staring longingly and some very, very slow dialogue scenes, but all in all this is a nice little film that is worth the watch for its acting and interesting portrayal of exploring the world and the power of the human spirit to push on. Rating: 6.8