This movie is based on the book of the same name which I had reviewed before. (https://vickychong.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/room-by-emma-donohue/)
Many who had seen the movie without reading the book raved to me about it. The movie was nominated for best picture in both Golden Globe and Academy Awards. The actress, Brie Larson won an award and is a nominee for the Oscar. Both my 16 year old son and husband liked it. Considering that it’s not an action movie, this says a lot.
The movie has tightened the plot and changed some characters (the Asians are replaced by Caucasians), while keeping the general story line. The tension generated in the book has been glossed over and the overall perspective, as seen by Jack, the five year-old boy born in captivity in a shed in the middle of his mother’s kidnapper’s backyard, is filtered in the movie, thus we lose his train of thoughts.
Ma, (or mom in the movie) was kidnapped as a seventeen (nineteen in the book if I remember correctly) by a man and was locked up for seven years in a shed, raped and abused. She gives birth to Jack, who is now five. Jack lives his whole life in Room and never been out. Yet his mother tries to give him as normal a childhood as possible, teaching him to read and exercising his body. They get a weekly Sunday treat from Old Nick, an extra from the usual grocery they get from him. One day, Ma learns that Nick has been out of job for six months and decides to escape by Jack pretending to be dead. Old Nick is to dump his body, rolled up in Rug, and Jack must escape before being discovered. After they are rescued, Ma and Jack have to learn to adapt back to the real world.
Both the actors portraying Ma and Jack gave credible performances. I like how Jack complained now that they are outside Room, he doesn’t get to spend as much time with Ma, something I missed in the book, and what many preschoolers probably feel. After all, there are Grandma, toys and TV to replace Ma, or what so many modern parents think. Reading the book, you don’t get to see Ma, or realize how young she actually is. In the movie, she is seen to be sometimes impatient and reckless, which made her more real. She tells Jack, you save me twice, once to escape and another time when she overdosed. But if you think of it, Jack actually saved her as soon as he was born, by giving her the will and motivation to remain a prisoner in the room. So her guilt for not giving him up at birth seems more real when she is interviewed on TV.
And no, I didn’t need a tissue.