Room: Breaking The Fourth Wall

Based on the book by Emma Donoghue (also wrote the screenplay), Room tells the sensational story of Jack (Jacob Tremblay), a larger than life five-year old who is looked after by his caring and devoted mother, Ma (Brie Larson). Much alike any decent mother, she dedicates herself to keeping her son happy, fed, clothed and safe from harm’s way. She nurtures him with warmth and love but also connects with him intimately by playing games and telling stories at bedtime. Their life in Room is anything bur ordinary. If anything, it’s extraordinary that didn’t go completely mad. They made do with what they had and did all they could to survive. They weren’t conquered by four walls.

They are imprisoned in a windowless 10-by-10 foot space which they later find out to be a shed in Old Nick’s (Sean Bridgers) backyard. Ma has made their life into a game and has metaphorically named their home of seven years, ‘Room’. She has created a whole world, a universe for Jack within the confinement of four walls. Even in this humiliating environment, Jack is able to live a fulfilling life. But as Jack’s childish curiosities about the world increase, the relationship between mother and child is tested and Ma’s resilience reaches its climax. They enact a daring plan to escape, ultimately ending with them staring at what they both fear and embrace the most, the world outside.

Ma (Brie Larson) looking up at the skylight

Ma (Brie Larson) looking up at the skylight

Room has to be one of the most emotional movies I have seen in living memory. It’s all about the trials and tribulations that occur within a family home. The arguments, the “I hate you and I will never speak to you ever again” moments but then you patch it up again the next day. Fuck you, fuck this, fuck that. Your parents judging you and tell you what you should and should not do. You hate them in the moment but really, you know they have your best interests at heart, even if they don’t show that in the most appealing way then you forgive them because they’re your family.

Both Ma and Jack leave Room, but Jack adapted to the change better than Ma. She’s mentally ill with PTSD and I secretly believe she misses Room and the sudden change of order disrupted her status quo. She was a captive and she had a routine but now she has help from people around her, her family. The positive reception was a shock to the system and now she has to adapt to a new routine. They’re her family but they may as well have been strangers. The world has changed in seven years and so has the family unit that she was used to. Jack embraced the world with open arms. He was born in Room and kids love new things and new places. He loves its smells, the sites and is very excitable as kids should be. Everything is an adventure.

Ma: You're gonna love it. Jack: What? Ma: The world.

Ma: You’re gonna love it.
Jack: What?
Ma: The world.

Brie Larson has found her niche and her performance as Ma was powerful, exciting, gritty and you really saw her development as a character. Her performance is worthy of the acting nominations she picked up from BAFTA and the Academy. I truly hope she wins because she really deserves it, as you could see she put her heart and her soul into her portrayal of Ma. Tremblay as Jack was also good. The ten-year old’s acting career is only just beginning in what I hope to be fruitful and a prosperous one.

In conclusion, this film moved me somewhat and this was due to the great acting performance from Larson but also the deeply emotional musical score from Stephen Rennicks (Frank) and a fantastic screenplay from the author, Emily Donoghue as well as superb direction from Irish talent, Lenny Abrahamson.

“The world’s like all TV planets on at the same time, so I don’t know which way to look and listen. There’s doors and… more doors. And behind all the doors, there’s another inside, and another outside…it never stops…and there’s invisible germs floating everywhere. When I was small, I only knew small things. But now I’m five, I know EVERYTHING!”