Recently, I finally got around to watching the movie Room. I have no idea why I put it off for so long: I read the book in high school and I can safely say that it changed my life. When I saw that they had made a film, I was thrilled because I wanted this story to be shared with the world, and I knew film was the best media to do the job. Yet I waited… and I waited… and I waited to watch it. After seeing it, I think I know why.
Room is emotionally exhausting.
I cannot remember the last time I had such an affective response to a movie (actually, I can, and it was Mr. Holland’s Opus). I knew what happened in the story, as even though it has been years since I read the novel, it is one of those works of fiction that sticks with you. And yet, I still found my heart pounding out of my chest during Jack’s escape. I could not believe how terrified I was, and even as I tried to reassure myself that I knew everything worked out, I couldn’t stop the adrenaline rush through my veins.
It was that kind of movie.
And the emotions didn’t stop. I cried during this movie more than I’m willing to admit, and most of the time I couldn’t explain why I was crying. I cried because I had felt something so deeply, whether that be happiness, fear, relief, or sadness. The end of the movie left me a mess, crying for fictional people who felt all too real. The actors, Brie and Jacob, stole the show, and I would have been furious if Brie had not won the Oscar. They made this a story of so much more than a tragic abduction and (re)introduction to life beyond Room. This was a story about life, about love, and about how everything can change in an instant. The script was fantastic too, never feeling insincere or inauthentic. You are draw into the world of Ma and Jack, and what a bizarre world it is. One of the most amazing things is how this film makes you appreciate life, and see the world through eyes that never have before. Life is scary, but it’s also pretty amazing, if one just takes the time to see.
This film is a solid 9/10 for me, because it made me feel something I didn’t know I could, and it made me consider my own life, and my own world– my own “room” so to speak. The ONLY bad thing I have to say, is that this film is nothing compared to the book. When I consider the style of the novel, the film slides down to a measly 6/10. The novel is that fantastic. It’s written entirely from Jack’s point of view, which the movie does try to keep, but because it’s Jack who’s telling the story, we see Room and the world from an entirely different point of view. We see first hand how Jack doesn’t understand new people, new places, new situations. We see his confusion, and his fear, but above all, we see his love and child-like wonder. The film does really attempt to keep this (i.e., voice overs), and I think it’s fairly successful, but if you haven’t, please read the book. It will change your life even more.
All in all, Room is a story that has touched my heart and has made me reevaluate what I know. Isn’t that all you could ever want from a work of fiction?