This is one of those pretty rare films which actually lives up to, if not is better than, the book. This was probably partly down to the fact that Emma Donoghue who wrote ‘Room‘, also wrote the screenplay. It certainly stuck pretty close to the events and order of the novel, which is actually quite refreshing – none of the core parts of the story were altered to fit into the 90 minute film format.
If you haven’t read the book, the film is about a young woman (Brie Larson), who was kidnapped and imprisoned in a sound-proofed cell, or, just an ordinary looking garden shed from the outside. Her five-year-old son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay), fathered by her kidnapper, was born into Room, and has no concept of a world outside it. This was very believable in the book as it is narrated by Jack, but it also came across really well on screen. Jacob Tremblay gives a fantastic performance as Jack, whose innocence and optimism is refreshing and heart-warming.
Room definitely makes you think about lots of everyday things you take for granted. Through Jack you get to see things as if you are discovering them for the first time too. He has to learn how to interact with other people and how to cope with freedom, which, at first, isn’t so easy for a little boy who has always lived with such limited routine. Jack shows how to adapt and learn – he very literally has to adapt to a whole new world – and also how to survive.
Despite the horror of what has happened to Jack and especially to his mother, the film leaves you feeling uplifted and, I think, grateful for the things you have. It is a film about hope and determination overcoming a desperate situation. Some parts of the film are really difficult to watch, yet these are outweighed by moments of optimism and joy at being together and safe.
A very powerful film, 8/10