Movie Review: Lenny Abrahamson’s Room Is Tenacious With a Fine Creative Sense


By Fareeda


Movies are the highest form of artistic escapism and Lenny Abrahamson’s room is a movie about many things but essentially about escaping the conditions of one’s present reality, something every movie goer can relate well with. However, in these conditions we are presented with a Joy “Ma” Newsome, who has been kidnapped and held captive for seven years, five of which have been spent raising a child she gives birth to in captivity in the titular space that she names room. She transforms room into a planet existing for the continued survival and growth of her son, Jack. With amazing tenacity and a fine creative sense, room thrives despite the horrible conditions Ma and Jack are forced to be, which is harder than it looks if you ask anyone who has ever raised a child.

Room is the only thing Jack Newsome knows; at least according to Ma. The hopelessly endearing Jacob Tremblay rises in the morning to greet the lamp, the television and tables. He has been taught by Ma, that the world exists only in room and everything else is plastic, imaginary and two sided-just like the folks on television. The film follows the lives of Lenny and his mother in their cramped quarters relishing in the amazing simplicity of living a life in the same space every day and year out. There is of course his mother’s captor, who comes in to every few days to rape ma and to take lists for what they absolutely require. Old Nick barely registers Jack and they almost never see face to face. Wisely, the movie direction disallows us to dwell too much on this pseudo-antagonist; it is an injustice to the characters we continually observe in their nocturne. Yes, he is a kidnapper and rapist, no we will not allow our negative emotions towards him reduce this young mother and her child to simple victims, Lenny has given them much more.

Brie Larson, taps into dramatic brilliance with this performance. Her most emotionally charged moments often feature little or no dialogue, particularly in scenes where her only physical movement consists of looking at Jack. Jacob Tremblay is a gift. Carrying the narrative in his voice, he powers a unisex sense of childish resilience that only feels more impactful as the story develops. His character development is a perfect match for the plot pacing. His awareness of room and the outside world carry equal power. It is not about the environment but his perception of it. And boy are we unprepared. As the camera shifts focus from room, to the world outside, there is a possibility of one’s sense expanding; and here some challenges develop; the shaky camera movements and practiced focus on the characters faces feels inadequate when the movie shifts into a bigger space. We are left to perceive Jacob’s new world merely by his acting skills

At 117 minutes, the film runs a little too long, which led to a misguided, underdeveloped and entirely disposable storyline involving William H Macy. Still, he fills his performance boots accordingly. The other supporting characters provide the requisite emotional weight, and there is a touching scene when Jacob approaches grandma to cut off his Samson-like mane and give his mother so she can acquire the necessary strength to get better and return to him. Room is an emotionally exhaustive movie so of course, we are provided the necessary dramatic resolution.



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  1. I laughed my ass off at the scene where the Chinese leader dissed his wife. Yeah, it was too funny. The part where Aladeen wore an American flag clothing and tried to play a black character– the way he walked, the rap with the strong Wadiyan accent. LOL.

  2. Am not too sure about my stand on dis movie tho…at the end of it all I felt abit disappointed…kinda had a cliché storyline…dere were however some funny parts in the movie that gave me a good laff tho that much i would admit. i think i would rate it 5/10…if not less lol

  3. i thk kiki is missing the point….we need to look at the goal and message every movie is trying to achieve and portray.

    N the dictator’s goal was to make people laugh and it did justice to dat…even to the casting scenes where he used an armored tank to bully voters to vote for him.


  4. Well, well…. Not necessarily a new movie; buh I look 4wrd to a review on d movie- ‘3idiots’ I cld watch dat thing and laugh on a day I loose election.

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  6. I love to see Sacha Baron more as a satirist! I don’t know why many people don’t get this “fact” about his movies. The major reason why he blatantly flaunts male nudity, uses outrageous racial slurs indiscriminately&swear words incessantly&still gets away with it should explain this. His movies treat social issues with humor but the message is still gotten, unless you’re part of the 65% who just want a good dumb laugh!
    ALI G- The indian society&westernization.
    BORAT- The Kazakhstani society as at that time.
    THE DICTATOR- Not just dictators but generally, world leaders.
    #you guys haven’t still deemed it fit to please review TRADE OF THE INNOCENTS yet?#

    • just opened my eyes to that about Baron now. That’s a cool analysis. Thanks. Trade of The Innocents(Mini Review) coming up today

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