Review: “Room” A Casestudy on Kidnapping

Room is a film recently nominated for a Best Motion Picture – Drama Golden Globe Award and centers around a young woman and her 5 year old boy that are being held captive in a small tool-shed sized room.

Room does have some nice connections to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, but doesn’t have much else going for it. The movie is shown through the eyes of Jack, the 5-year old boy who was born in captivity. His mother Joy was kidnapped and held prisoner for 7 years, so the room where they live is the only world Jack knows. He thinks outside of the four surrounding walls is nothing but outer space. He doesn’t believe trees exist. He thinks the television and the images on it are powered by magic. Jack is played by child actor Jacob Tremblay who is far and away the best performance in the movie. Every other person or character, however, is bland, boring and unengaging.

The movie feels more like a slightly higher budget made-for-TV Lifetime movie. It wasn’t really sure what to do with itself either, as about halfway through it gives you a sense that the movie probably should have ended by now, but then keeps going for an additional 45 minutes or so. Sadly, Room and even comedy shows like Netflixs’ The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt do reflect on a large problem with young women being kidnapped and brainwashed. So while it may show a large audience the importance of being aware of a terrible situation, it would probably have worked better as a short film or documentary.

Jack is a charming and sweet boy, and it was interesting to see his perspective on the world. His mother Joy is desperate to escape the Room and go home to her family. That’s basically the movie in a nutshell. Personally I don’t understand why Brie Larson who plays Joy was also nominated for a Best Actress – Drama Golden Globe. She was realistic but again, boring and even annoying at times. I sympathized more with Jack and wanted him to escape more so than his mother.

Room may go on to be nominated for Academy Awards, but other than Jack, the movie doesn’t offer much. The directing style is lazy and unimaginative, a chance that was greatly oversaw as Jack is an extremely imaginative and intelligent child. Camera techniques are intentionally out of focus, shaky, and even incomprehensive at times. While Room has some good scenes peppered here and there, it is not deserved of the awards it is nominated for, and watching it more than once would be a task unto itself despite the importance of the subject matter. If you can find a way to watch the first hour of the movie only when is released on video, that would probably be ideal. But don’t expect something to see multiple times.

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  • Acting - 7/10
  • Cinematography - 4/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7/10
  • Buyability - 3/10
  • Recyclability - 1/10

About Michael Karns

Mike Karns began writing about his thoughts on movies in 2008 during the glorious and yet short-lived days of MySpace. In 2011, Mike decided it was time to create his own review site, 50 Foot Guerrilla You can follow Mike on Twitter @50ftGuerrila and on Facebook. Let him know what you think on these social media sites, he will be happy to respond.

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