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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | October 20, 2019

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Room - Life Beyond Four Walls

Room – Life Beyond Four Walls

| On 04, Feb 2016

It’s not hard to see why ‘Room’, an adaption of Emma Donoghue’s acclaimed novel has struck a chord with audiences.

“Are we in another planet?” – Jack (Jacob Tremblay).

“Same one. Just a different spot.” – Ma (Brie Larson).

The film was narrated by five-year old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) who spent his entire life in Room – thus an interesting interpretation of how one understands the world was presented to the audience. To Jack, Room was the entire world. What Jack didn’t know was the sinister events that lead to Ma (Brie Larson) being held captive in Room seven years prior. This was a story about the fight for freedom and the bond between mother and child.

The film was split into two clear chapters – life in Room and life post-Room. While intense, somewhat disturbing and yet still heart-warming, life in Room painted a very black and white world – a world of good and bad, of reality and fiction. Someone once told me that “life is lived in the details” and it was a quote that seemed very applicable to this film. When one’s life was restricted down to a few objects, what are the other qualities that make up a being?

Life post-Room examined the struggles of adjusting back to ‘normal’ life – at least the closest version one could construct given their circumstances. After survival instincts and fear subsided, the film opened commentary on the interactions of people, the process of trust and how the innocence of a child was a great strength in the journey to healing.


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Since appearing in the fantastic yet short-lived series, ‘United States of Tara’ (2009-2011), it has been evident that Brie Larson has a bright acting career ahead of her. Larson displays an understated acting method with each line delivered as naturally as a breath. She immerses herself in her characters and it is an intriguing experience to watch her transform. The real bond between Tremblay, the unsung hero of the film and young marvel, and Larson was clearly evident. It is a testament to the quality of these actors and their ability to make you believe their world. You believed everything – a slight claustrophobia at the confines of life within the same four walls, the discovery of the world with a camera shutter or light flare, the pain of loss, the suspense of investigation and the overwhelming chest-punch of relief.


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‘Room’ was a film full of messages that didn’t bombard you – instead it slowly made you realise some home truths. Family as a safe haven can be a notion taken for granted.

The film was intimate and beyond personal. It had no glamour; a styling which probably stemmed from the screenplay being penned by Donoghue. Lenny Abrahamson has proved his ability to craft a masterpiece. Abrahamson’s previous credits include ‘What Richard Did’ (2012) and ‘Frank’ (2014). All eclectic, versatile but captivating storytelling of outsiders tying to navigate the world.


Room is now showing in select cinemas.

Image Credits: A24 Films