As beautiful as it is dark, Room is an incredibly moving and tense film. Split into two distinct parts, the first dives into the darkest recesses of despair and the second deals with hope and the future. Both are handled well but the second half does have some pacing issues after a tense-driven first half. The chemistry between Ma and Jack is very realistic too and it really helps to drives the film forward, elevating it to one of the best dramas released this year.
The story follows kidnapped Ma (Brie Larson) who’s forced to live her life within a 10 by 10 foot space she’s called “Room”. With her son slowly growing up, she’s made a whole world for her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) within Room and her desire to keep the illusion for the sake her son’s sanity is both admirable and heartbreaking. As Jack continues to grow up, he begins questioning his own existence and the world he inhabits until they devise a plan to break free of Room and get back to the real world. Its such a beautifully told tale and the tension spikes early and is relentless throughout. Of course, spoilers aside, the film does have some pacing issues in the second half which detracts slightly from the frenetic pace the first half encompasses and by the time the second hour rolls round, you feel emotionally drained after the tense opening that it detracts slightly from the second hour.
The true champions here are Ma and Jack though and their tale is told with such fluidity and raw emotion that every scene they occupy is a stand out. Whether it be Jack’s frustration at his mother or the desperate look in Ma’s eye as she realizes an escape might be fruitless, every part of the psyche of these actors, the way they act and their chemistry together is stunning. This is of course helped by a solid script and realistic dialogue, but you really can’t take away from the two leads who’s Oscar-worthy performances deserve recognition for such a breathtaking performance. Its worth noting here too that as a child actor, Jacob Tremblay is one of the best to ever grace the big screen. Just simply incredibly and alongside the talent or Brie Larson, the two achieve a beautiful piece of film that deserves to be recognised for years to come.
Overall, Room is quite simply a brilliant film. Its actors provide award-winning performances and despite its slight pacing issues in the second half of the film, the tension is relentless from the get go. This adeptly handled adaptation of the book is done with confidence and maturity to deliver one of 2016’s best dramas. Whilst the change in focus for the second half of the film is initially jarring, it doesn’t detract too much from this drama that deserves recognition for its incredible film work and lead actors.
Verdict - 9/10