Film Review: Room

by Evan Brown

Rated M. Starring Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

“Love knows no boundaries.”

Have you ever witnessed something so beautiful that you were at a loss for words? Something so beautiful it literally took your breath away?

As I wiped the tears from my eyes I knew I had witnessed something very special, something so deeply beautiful yet so deeply tragic. As I left the cinema the only coherent thought I could piece together was “How can I possibly write a review for Room?”

To much anticipation of her fans, Emma Donoghue’s best selling yet controversial novel Room has finally been adapted for the silver screen. Written by Donoghue herself and directed by Lenny Abrahamson the film Room (appropriately titled) follows the perspective of Jack, a five-year old boy who was born into a room. This is no ordinary boy and this is no ordinary room.

The room is all he knows, sees and experiences.  The only other human interaction that he has is with his ‘Ma’ (Larson) who also lives in this room. You see, Jack is the result of something truly tragic, something truly horrific. His mother is a victim of abduction and has been held captive in this room for over seven years.  

She is subjected to rape on a daily basis.  

These concepts however are beyond Jack’s ability to comprehend. Jack and his Ma eventually leave the room and Jack is exposed to an entirely new world beyond the boundaries of what he knows. Jack’s world that he knew is shattered and he has to understand and experience this new world that he has been reborn into.  

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to experience everything again for the first time, putting aside your old world and starting again. Would you do it?

For Christians the idea of putting aside our old world and being born into a new world is a familiar concept. In 1 Peter 1:3, Peter writes:

“Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Jesus is able to save us from our old sinful selves and give us new life – allowing us to be born again into a new hope, a new life. The question for us is, will we accept his offer to experience this new life, or stick with our old, familiar, lives?

Room is an uncomfortably brilliant film. It is able to capture the beautiful innocence of a child even in the most horrific circumstances.  Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay and Joan Allen all deliver stunning performances that will pull at your heartstrings. This tragically beautiful story will break hearts and bring tears to many who watch it. Be warned however that there are adult concepts within.

The Verdict: In a cinematic era where superheroes and spaceships seem to get all the hype it is refreshing to see such an emotionally powerful story grace our screens.  If you appreciate good cinema then I highly recommend Room. 5/5

Room will be released in Australia on January 28th, and in the UK on January 15th. It is already screening in the US.

For more film reviews from a Christian perspective, connect with Reel Gospel on Facebook and Twitter.

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