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Room (2015)

[IMDB Completionists Series - #5 of 85]

"If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

Salient words indeed, coming as this is my first visit to Room, the film that arguably put Brie Larson where she is today. I really should have seen this before now, but honestly, I was left cold by the mere thought of it upon release, and was kind of avoiding it. Not consciously, you understand, but out of sight, out of mind. Out of mind, out of matter, right? Says so, up there. Even five-year olds with hair like David Lee Roth know it.

Likely, you'll know the story well already as I think I'm the last person to watch this for the first time by now. Joy and son Jack have been imprisoned by 'Old Nick' for longer than Jack has been alive. Joy was kidnapped and placed in Room (her name for what we believe is Old Nick's shed) where she is repeatedly used for sex by this man, Jack being the product of their nightly coupling.

Staging the project in such a confined space does allow the opportunity for us to get up close and personal with these two characters. Joy does all she is able to raise her son, nurturing as best as she can, given these obviously limited options. Jack has never known the outside world, being told stories by Joy as he grows to five, when she begins to try and explain what the outside world really is.

The claustrophobic proximity demands some real attention to details and you will not be found wanting for this here. The performances by both Brie Larson (despite my overall indifference to her) and Jacob Tremblay are both excellent and by the second half of the film, it becomes even more challenging for reasons I won't expand upon here, just in case you still haven't seen it, but suffice to say, many films would have wrapped up after the events of the first hour and no-one would have batted an eyelid, but the film is all the better for continuing.

Pleasantly surprised, this is not quite what I was expecting. As I was rifling through my Completionists list and sighed maybe a little too heavily at the thought of having to watch this, imagining it to be an altogether frustrating experience, I have been happily proven wrong.

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