The Tulane Hullabaloo

‘Room’ provides window into traumatized soul

Sam Ergina, Online Arcade Editor

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Our world is only what we can perceive around us. “Room,” directed by Lenny Abrahamson, based on the best-selling novel by Emma Donoghue,  exemplifies that idea and stretches it and its contrastive effects between people’s worlds to an emotionally draining limit. 

“Room” is about a woman and her five-year-old son, Jack, in, you guessed it, a room. The first half hour of the movie is charming and whimsical in showing how they live in the film’s namesake. Jack exercises, draws, watches TV and reads while his mother, Ma, cooks, cleans and takes care of her son. Slowly, as the circumstances surrounding their confinement via kidnapping begins to surface, the movie takes a more morbid tone. After their release from the room, the mother and son must face their respective issues with adjusting to the real world.

This movie is an emotional rollercoaster and much of that can be attributed to the cast. Brie Larson’s stellar performance of Ma shows desperation and tension in a mother battling with the love of her son and the despair towards her life. Jack, played by Jacob Tremblay, captures a good rendition of a normal five-year-old, for a nine-year-old actor. His character outside of the room may be a little lacking in proper emotional depth and conflict given the circumstances, but again, Tremblay is nine and, all things considered, did a pretty great job.

The music was another extremely strong aspect to the film that effectively set the tone of the environment. The room Jack and his mother are trapped in instantly transforms from a change in the soundtrack. The music consultant, Joe Rudge, uses that musical influence to its full potential. 

For those who strongly connect to characters in movies, “Room” can be almost too intense. Regardless, it is an incredible film and its exploration of psychology in the face of trauma gives it depth and drama.

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
‘Room’ provides window into traumatized soul