Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Room (2015) is a psychological fiction based on the book by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue. In 2016, Room won the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role by Brie Larson. It depicts the story of a mother and her kid confined in a room for five years and how they come up with a plan to escape captivity.
As the film begins, we are introduced to Jack Newsome, played by Jacob Tremblay, being raised by Joy Newsome (Brie Larson) in a single room. Joy was kidnapped by the psychopath Big Nick when she was a teenager. She was held captive as a sex slave in a garden shed.
She has no other windows other than a skylight. The world that is present in that room with the skylight is the only one Jack is aware of as he was born in captivity. However, his mother explains to him about the outside world and the wonders it holds. The boy finds this information to be astounding and overwhelming. He becomes upset and confused because he doesn’t believe it. It takes some time, but the boy eventually changes, and Joy quickly enlists his help in executing a dangerous plan for their escape.
The plan somehow works. Jacob is able to alert a passerby, and Joy is released from Room. I found it amusing and realistic how pain or grief is conveyed when Joy and Jack are free. The most prominent example is Jack, who is now suffering from a more severe level of sensory trauma as everything was new for him. First time seeing the sky, and trees, touching the grass, and meeting people other than his mother and Old Nick.
A large portion of the credit for the success of the film should go to the screenplay. It is impossible to discuss Room without mentioning Jacob Tremblay’s performance as Jack. I had to constantly remind myself that this person was an actor acting out a character.
The music and cinematography were great and I especially liked it when Jack finally encountered the outside world. It is simply a beautiful film showcasing how strong a mother-son relationship is.