Growing up in St. Louis, there was a time when my Mom, little brother and I existed in one room. It was a time after Mom and Dad had divorced and all we had were each other.
It was in that room I got spanked for wearing a dress I was specifically told NOT TO. A room where my Grandfather would try to read a bedtime story that ended with my brother and I afraid to fall asleep. A room where we would watch cartoons and The Lone Ranger while eating breakfast cereal. A room with a multitude of memories from my childhood that live forever in my mind.
We eventually left this room and relocated. One day, my little brother and I went for a bike ride and we were expected to be home before dark. When nightfall came upon us, I turned a corner to head home believing that my brother was right behind me…he wasn’t. After numerous hours passed, the police were notified. Before a search could get underway, my brother miraculously appeared. What occurred during his disappearance was discussed once and never again.
Why did I share this personal anecdote? Often times, as in the case of so many children that go missing, we never know how the victims feel or what the aftermath of being in the spotlight is like for them when the glare dies down. Haven’t you ever wondered how these kids and their families lives continue after all the intrigue has died down? How emotionally and/or physically damaged are they? Will the lives of these families ever become normal? What is normal under these circumstances? And…what about the animals who snatched them? Do they live? die? spend the rest of their days behind bars?
Based on the novel and screenplay by Emily Donoghue, Room introduces us Ma (Brie Larson) and her son Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who are being held captive. When they daringly escape, the two are faced with adjusting to the outside world that they have not seen or experienced for nearly seven years.
Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay are remarkable. Larson is having a great year. Just coming off the Amy Schumer hit “Trainwreck”, she makes your heart bleed as Ma. You wonder how she can keep her sanity with this child, who is obviously stir crazy. Yet, she makes living in this “room” as normal as it can be for her child. After all…isn’t that what mother’s do? Her performance is by far one of the best one’s I have seen this year.
Tremblay boggles your mind with his ability and commitment. At such a young age, he has already mastered the art of acting when not uttering a single word. William H. Macy and Joan Allen as Larson’s parents are spectacular. Their complex emotions of dealing with a child who has been abducted break your heart.
This film seems to be a compilation of so many lives we have seen played out in the media…Elizabeth Smart, Jacee Dugard, Amanda Berry and the other two young women held captive in Cleveland.
Go watch “Room” and find out. It’s an emotional, eye-opening roller coaster ride, but well worth the twists and turns.