If you’ve been intrigued by the rave reviews for “Room” since its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (where it won the coveted “People’s Choice” award), do yourself a favor and just go see it.
It’s based on a popular New York Times bestselling novel, so the story may already be deeply familiar to some, but if you’re still blissfully ignorant, keep it that way.
“Room” is one of those movies best experienced cold, without any knowledge of what it’s about or what will transpire.
The trailer for “Room” functions as a neatly-wrapped summation of the entire story from beginning-to-end. There are no subtle teases, or visual flairs that intrigue without revealing too much. Instead, it presents images and sounds from the entire movie that literally tell you every detail. Some of the most beautiful, revelatory moments from the film are totally spoiled.
The film opens with a mother (Brie Larson, in the role of her career) and her 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) living in isolation in a tiny space referred to only as “room.” Nothing is explained straightaway, but as the story progresses, more information is revealed and their chilling backstory starts falling into place.
For the first 30 or so minutes, “Room” could feasibly go in any number of directions. Is it a post-apocalyptic thriller? A dysfunctional family drama? A psychological head-game?
Once the gaps are filled in, the film takes a major leap, and the second half is an entirely different movie from the first. The stakes have changed entirely.
Thankfully, both portions of the film are equally entertaining, emotionally charged and, at times, quite intense. Jacob Tremblay’s performance is easily the best I’ve seen this year and hopefully his age doesn’t prevent him from proper recognition come award season.
“Room” made quite the impression on me, and my ignorance to the film’s plot is partially responsible for this. It’s a tough film to discuss without ruining the suspense, so why bother?
For consistency’s sake, the trailer is below. If you’re already sold on the movie, skip it, and enjoy the movie the way it was meant to be experienced.
“Room” opens in New York and LA on October 16 and expands nationwide November 6.