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Room Is the Whole World for Jack and His Mom

Updated on October 14, 2019
Robert J Sodaro profile image

Robert J. Sodaro is an American-born writer, editor, and digital graphic artist who loves writing about comics, movies, and literature.


Eerily close to real life.
Eerily close to real life. | Source


Room:R“ (1 Hour 58 min.)

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Amanda Brugel

Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson

  • In 2009 a story came to light about Jaycee Lee Dugard who, at 11 years old, had been kidnapped off the street in 1991, near her house in South Lake Tahoe, California. Her captor kept her in a room in a shed on his property and fathered two children with her.
  • Between 2002 and 2004, three young women, Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, were kidnapped in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. They were subsequently imprisoned until 2013.
  • In 2014 there was a story about a man who was accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old girl in 2004, then sexually assaulting her over a decade.

Room, the Book

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Ripped from the Headlines

Unfortunately, as odd, unusual, or random as these stories may sound, they are all true, and — horribly — not as rare as they might sound. Based on the 2011 novel by Emma Donoghue, this tells the exceptional tale of Jack (Tremblay), a spirited 5 year-old who, along with his mother (Larson), lives in a single room. The room is all Jack knows, because (unbeknownst to him), his mother was kidnapped by the man they call Old Knick (Sean Bridgers) and both have been kept prisoner in the shack that forms the room.

Room Trailer

The Room

Given that he doesn’t know anything else Lack is actually okay with all of this, but his mother — who has dedicated herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories — is growing frustrated with their situation. Still, given that they are trapped in a windowless, 10-by-10-by-10-foot space, which they simply refer to as “Room” it is a wonder that either of them are reasonable well-adjusted at all. However, as Jack’s curiosity about their situation grows, his mother reaches her breaking point, and she concocts a risky escape plan.

Mom and Jack in Room

The whole world inside four walls.
The whole world inside four walls. | Source

The Story

It takes a bit of doing, but she does manage to convince Jack that there is stuff outside the room and that they need to get outside of Room to go there. Once the plan is in place, the pair do manage to make good their escape, but now the really heard part comes into play, as they both have to begin to cope with the outside world. Jack’s mother for the first time in seven years, and Jack for the first time in his life. Once they are rescued, she is reunited with her (now estranged) parents, it becomes difficult for Jack’s mother to readjust to reality.

View from the top

The walls are closing in.
The walls are closing in. | Source

This is not the Life We Want

This is a difficult film to watch. Even though it is based on a novel, we all know that this type of situation happens all too often for it to be taken lightly, and as we move through the narrative, it is unknown what will occur or how it will play out. As the film starts you can feel the uncertainty of the situation as well as the claustrophobic nature of the room. For her part, Jack’s mother has become resigned to her current situation while Jack simply doesn’t know any better. For him, Room is the entirety of the world, and as he knows of nothing else, this is good enough for him. Still the whole situation is compellingly creepy, and ultimately disturbing that not only could this sort of injustice could occur in the first place, but that that it actually does, and that she was so close but no one found her for so long.


Room is everything to Jack.
Room is everything to Jack. | Source

(Unfortunately), it's not just a Movie

This is the kind of film that not only commands itself to be watched, but (hopefully) raises awareness as well. For her role as Jack’s mother, Brie Larson received an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film itself was also nominated for three other Awards; Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Direction, and Best Picture.

Love is all

In the end, it is all about love.
In the end, it is all about love. | Source

Jack speaks:

“When I was four, I didn't even know about the world, and now me and ma are going to live in it forever and ever until we're dead.”

Clip from Room

Room Blu-Ray

Room [Blu-ray + Digital HD]
Room [Blu-ray + Digital HD]
Room is the story of Jack, a spirited five-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted Ma. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. However, they are trapped in a windowless, 11-by-11-foot space, which Ma has euphemistically named ''Room.''

© 2016 Robert J Sodaro


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