Room(2015): Another Chance to Know the World


In an era when movies overly feature celebrities, sometimes messy visual effects and exaggerated hormone-stimulation scenes, I should cherish movies like Room, where life-affirming inspiration and joyful tears stem from a simple, compelling story and authentic performances. It was my first time sitting in a cinema hall enjoying a movie alone, thanks to the timing. I feel fortunate to have Room in that cold, empty hall as it brings the type of warmth and fulfilment that has long been missing on big screens.

The Room was a tricky place. Joy was a young mother who has been kidnapped, locked and sexually assaulted for seven years. The Room, being her nightmare, locked her freedom and all her hopes. But for Jack, Joy’s son, the Room was filled with motherly love. It was the place where he was born and his whole world as he never stepped outside. Jack personally related to every corner of the Room. Joy made up many lies to explain to  Jack all he watched on that wretched TV and convinced him the beauty of the world and humanity, no matter how dark their life actually was. No doubt, Joy was a strong woman: in the Room, with all the torture and insult, she raised her son alone, carefully planned their escape, protected Jack from Old Nick and made her son as strong as she is. It was quite a breath-taking climax when Jack rolled out of the carpet and the police eventually foundJoy. After Old Nick was arrested, Joy and Jack returned home safely and seemed to enjoy a happy life thereafter.

But the movie goes beyond that anticipatable, mediocre ending. If the Room locked them physically in the first half of the movie, it would perhaps continue locking them psychologically in the second half. They felt frightened about the brand new world, and Jack wanted to return to the Room. Joy’s father could not accept Jack as the son of Old Nick, and Joy blamed herself for not being a good mother and selfishly keeping her son in the Room for five years. Although the psychological growth was a bit sudden, Jack became much more mature. He actively attempted to communicate with the new world, moved on from the past and saved his mother from depression. In the end, they visited the Room for the last time and said goodbye to the Room. They both found relief and redemption at that moment. After all, they were still with each other.

Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay offer the best performance of an actress in a leading role and a child actor respectively in 2015. Brie Larson successfully portraits a multi-dimensional, strong and yet vulnerable female character with all her expressions, words and tears feeling so real. After winning the Golden Globe, Brie Larson is a highly probable recipient of the Oscars next month.  Jacob Tremblay also sets the standard for performers at his age. Their outstanding performances truly make Joy and Jack alive and their story exceptionally moving.

Everyone is perhaps locked in a Room, not physically but psychologically. People often feel reluctant, uncomfortable or even embarrassed to abandon their worldview and change their values. Room is the movie that inspires the viewers to free themselves from their prisons. Thanks to Room, I have the chance to re-discover my world from another angle. My world is not perfect, and it contains crimes, sufferings and depressing moments, but my world also contains boundless love that saves us all.

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