Room ★★★★

A cleverly envisioned concept realised on the film canvas in a controlled but highly effective manner, Room is an ingeniously crafted, expertly narrated & superbly performed thriller that packs in a much darker story than expected, works as a beautiful ode to the bond between a mother & her child, and benefits immensely from Brie Larson's compelling performance.

Room tells the story of a young mother & her 5-year old boy who live in a dilapidated room where she has fabricated a safe & happy universe for her kid in order to shield him from the gruesome reality of their current situation. But after sensing that he is now much capable of understanding things, she devises a risky plan to escape from the confinement and return to a world her son is totally unaware of.

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by the author of the book this movie is adapted from, Room begins on a calm note that takes us through how this mother & son spend their daily life in the small room they live in while steadily bringing a sense of curiosity about their surroundings, which turns quite harrowing once their predicament is revealed. The plot is divided into two parts and both cover their isolation in different confinements.

The first half is fabulously constructed, with production design team doing a commendable job in congesting the enclosed room with all the necessities that finds its use in the finished print. Cinematography encapsulates the whole picture with an overcast ambience that aptly reflects the harrowing experience our leading lady has been through. Editing could've been improved for sequences in the second half become repetitive at times. And the background score makes its presence felt only when required.

Coming to the performances, Brie Larson & Jacob Tremblay spearhead this aspect with an impressive input and share a spot-on chemistry with each other. Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers & William H. Macy do well in their supporting roles but it's Larson & Tremblay who carry this film all the way for the former delivers what's arguably her finest performance to date while the latter manages to be less irritating & more adorable as the story progresses. Plus, their bonding as mother & child is believable, heartfelt & mesmerising.

However, the most striking thing about Room is the way it deals with the themes of isolation freedom & love. For the majority of its first half, we see only two people who are completely dependent on each other, haven't had the exposure of the outside world in years, and share an amazing bond despite the nearly hopeless situation they are in. The next half focuses on their difficulty in readjusting to the real world, as the mother finds herself equally isolated in the outer environment while her son is trying to grasp the unfamiliar world around him.

On an overall scale, Room is a beautiful, riveting & heartbreaking story that keeps its main focus on the relationship between the mother & her child and even in the darkest of situations, it doesn't discard the elements of love & hope. The first act brilliantly paves way for what's next in store, the middle act capitalises on the solid groundwork and is simply perfect for it brims with just the right amount of tension & uncertainty, while its remaining runtime feels a bit stretched & becomes repetitive before finally concluding on a hopeful note. Rewarding in more ways than one, Room is one survival tale that's worthy of your time. Don't miss it.

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