Room is an interesting look into something horrible that seems all too common in our present day society. It is a movie about struggling for normalcy and trying to define normalcy in the first place. It is something that is heart wrenching, but hopeful at the same time.
Room focuses on Joy, a girl who at the age of seventeen was kidnapped and kept in a garden shed by her captor for seven years. During her time, she has a child (named Jack) with her captor and is forced to raise him in a room from birth (hence the title). Eventually, she and Jack are able to escape, but they must deal with more troubles that come their way in terms of family issues, mental health problems and adjusting back into the real world. The movie has an interesting contrast between the two main characters of Jack and Joy. The movie spends a lot of time on Jack and his journey, giving us multiple scenes through his eyes and his five-year-old inner monologue as well, but also takes its time to focus on Joy and her coming back as well.
Considering that Joy lived in the real world before she was taken and Jack has had no exposure to it, it creates and interesting contrast between the two. Jack doesn’t really understand the situation he was born into and wishes to go back to the “room,” while Joy is dealing with all new emotions in trying to raise her son in the real world now and adjusting back into normalcy. I found most of the focus on Joy very interesting. The movie is great at showing the trauma that these two have been through, which is partial do to with the great direction, which uses a lot of close shots and focus blurring.
If there is one thing about the movie that I wish there was more of, it would be the family issues. Joy and her parents have fights and disagreements as she is trying to get passed her mental trauma, but her dad (played by the great William H. Macy) comes into the picture to present an issue, but then disappears. It makes sense in terms of story, but I just wish that subplot was fleshed out more. It seems a little out of sync with the rest of the movie.
Room is an interesting study on kidnapping, giving you two characters going through very different adjustments to the real world. The acting it great, especially from Brie Larson as Joy, the story heart wrenching and uplifting, and the direction soft and personal. It is definitely one to watch.