Few things are as sacred as the bond between a mother and her son. Room flawlessly conveys this message to its viewers. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, the film tells the story of a kidnapped young woman who raises her son in the confines of a single room.
Room is incredibly moving. And this is not because the story deals with a sad situation. Instead, it holds the viewer by hand as the main character hopes to see the outside world again. This is a movie that focuses on character, rather than plot. The result is a film about feelings. These control the viewer like a puppeteer. The viewer feels what the characters feel. But despite their hopeless circumstance, they have each other. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay give two remarkable performances.
Larson carries the film on her back. She embodies the tragic circumstance of her character, credited as Ma, abducted by a man seven years prior. Furthermore, Larson portrays motherhood in a way that most mothers can relate to. She’ll do anything to protect her son. What makes her performance compelling is Ma’s willingness to accept her situation so she can give her son the best life possible, given their limitations. Larson rightfully earned her Oscar for Best Actress.
Though Jacob is just a small child, his performance as Jack is larger than life. Abrahamson and Donoghue tell the story through his point of view. The entire time, Jacob expresses a vulnerability that lowers the viewer to Jack’s innocent state-of-mind. It is heartbreaking to see this five-year-old boy raised in captivity. However, Jack remains completely unaware of the severity of this circumstance. Instead, he maintains the same imagination and sense of wonder as any child his age. Jacob nails this quality to his character. His spirit and presence perfectly complement Larson’s plight.
Stephen Rennicks’ score leaves a lasting impression on the human soul. In the main theme, piano and violin strike just the right notes to encapsulate the beauty of the mother-son relationship. It’s cathartic, in that the track feels like the seed of a new start after a long, tragic journey.