Just like young Jack has trouble forgetting about the room in which he was born and raised, his only universe for five years, it’s hard to shake the impact of director Lenny Abrahamson’s life-affirming drama. That may sound too hyperbolic for some, but “Room” is a movie that deserves superlatives.
It’s unforgettable in the details, the tragic minutiae that Jack and his Ma grapple with as they live out their days in a single room garden shed, with only a skylight to witness the outside world. It’s heartbreaking because similar cases have occurred in recent years, regardless of the film’s otherwise fictional trappings. It’s uplifting, even when it’s sad, showcasing the strength of a child’s “plastic” mind, malleable enough to adapt and overcome while his Ma has a much harder time, her prior life irretrievable, her perspective on people irreparably damaged. It’s a poignant display of the very best and the very worst in human nature, the latter epitomized by the man keeping them captive, “Old Nick” as they call him, and the former epitomized by the bond between mother and son, powerfully portrayed by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in breakout performances. It’s a testament to the tug and pull of the human spirit, our ability and inability to move on from one reality of life to the next. It’s a tribute to the little things like eating sugary cereal or kicking a ball around, the in-between moments we take for granted because we live here in our houses, our apartments, our big backyards, with smart phones and computers and wireless internet.
Jack lays in the grass and looks at the sky because it’s big and blue and beautiful and around us all the time, or the grass itself because it’s green and dewy and alive all the time. Above all, “Room” is a movie to be experienced, to be felt, not analyzed ad nauseum. Words don’t do it justice.