Captive struggle meets childlike wonder in Room

SPELLBINDING: Larson and Tremblay star as a mother-son pair.


    Jan 14, 2016

    Captive struggle meets childlike wonder in Room

    ROOM (PG13)

    Drama/118 minutes/Opens today

    Rating: 5/5

    The story:

    Based on Emma Donoghue's best-selling novel, Room is narrated by Jack (Jacob Tremblay), five, who has been confined all his life in a room with his mother Ma (Brie Larson). Ma was abducted as a teenager and held captive. When the two escape, Jack discovers the outside world for the first time.

    WHAT would it feel like to grow up within the confines of one small room? It is a question that is eloquently answered in this indie flick, which remains tender without being sentimental and cloying.

    Room could easily be a story about drudgery, post-traumatic stress disorder and fear. It touches on these issues but its eternal optimism stands out.

    To Jack, who is discovering the real world for the first time, everything inspires wonder. It is thrilling to see everyday objects turn magical through the eyes of a sheltered child.

    Credit must go to Tremblay for remaining so endearing throughout - he is down-to-earth while being wise beyond his years.

    Larson also deserves the universal praise she has received for Room, demonstrating her range by playing the vacant victim, loving mother and struggling daughter effectively.

    The relationship between Jack and Ma is the bedrock of the film.

    It unfolds in the most natural and spellbinding way.

    Unsettling at times, Room may not be the most pleasant way to spend two hours but it is a beautiful story that will haunt you long after the credits roll.