Room DVD Review

Let’s be honest. Child actors, for the most part, are rather annoying. So Lenny Abrahamson, if you are going to force us into spending two hours in the company of one, you had better make it worth our while.

The fears that Room, originally a novel by Emma Donoghue, was going to be some sort of light version of a traumatic kidnapping are dispelled immediately. Not only is the screenplay, written by the same Emma Donoghue, a charming accomplishment with dark edges, the film itself is a subtle and engaging work.


Ma (Brie Larson), or Joy, and Jack (Jacob Tremblay) are being kept in a DIY prison, a reinforced shed, by Old Nick (Sean Bridgers). He captured Joy when she was young and fathered Jack, who has grown up entirely in ‘Room’.

The first half of the film the two are locked in the prison with no hope of escape. Abrahamson’s clever direction makes ‘room’ feel at once cramped and constricting for Ma and endlessly expansive for Jack. Jack’s world is contained in these four walls and Abrahamson explores it with wonder.


There is a shift halfway through the film as Ma and Jack attempt their escape. She enlightens him as to the world outside these walls. He screams for another story, as she replies forcefully “this is the story you get”. It is a powerful moment of awakening for the youngster, he needs to grow up and Ma caustically unveils new horizons for him.

Room isn’t really about the trauma of kidnapping per se, though that is explored more acutely in the second half of the film. It centres more profoundly on the relationship between a mother and child, the difficulty of a young mother raising her son when she is but a child herself in many ways. Ma and Jack’s relationship is frantic and emotional, Abrahamson proves a worthy teller of their story.


Room is available on DVD & Blu-Ray from 10th May courtesy of Studiocanal 

About The Author

Jonathan went back to university to study Film Journalism in Glasgow in 2012 and hasn't looked back since. Writing for the Edinburgh Internation Film Festival, The Birmingham Review, The Electrolyte Magazine as well as Front Row Reviews he enjoys working across media and if not lambasting folk about politics it's film on his agenda. Working in The Electric Cinema in Birmingham has allowed him to come closer to the medium he loves, his favourite filmmaker is Wong Kar-Wai.

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