Passion and reality portrayed by the struggles of mother and son locked away

Shawn Jiang, Staff Writer

Academy Award winning film “Room” strikes the hearts of many with it’s realistic yet passionate portrayal of conflict with the story of a teen kidnapped and eventually becoming the mother of her son, left to live in a garden shed.

“Room” is balanced nearly perfectly between its portrayal of Joy, the protagonist, who as a 17 year old, was kidnapped by a man referred to in the film as Old Nick, and the struggle of Joy when raising her son Jack within the confines of the garden shed. Joy raises Jack to believe that everything he sees on the TV is a fake world, and that Room, the name they both give the garden shed, is that there is in the world.  

The plotline begins to carve a clear path after Jack finally makes it into the world by playing dead, leading to Old Nick driving out with his body to bury it. Jack takes the opportunity to escape, fleeing Nick and meeting a kind stranger who calls the police. A series of slow mo shots proceeds to bring tears to the eyes of the audience as the police burst into the garden shed and free Joy.

“Room” then begins the psychological aftermath as Jack is thrown into a larger world, the same world he thought was a lie only seen on TV. Joy struggles to stay composed as she reflects on all she has missed out on. An awkward dinner scene in particular slaps the audience in the face as Joy’s father can’t bear to even look at Jack, the offspring of Joy’s rapist Old Nick.

To make matters worse for Joy, she begins to lash out against her mother for teaching her kindness, for it was kindness that got her stuck in a shed. Nick had initially approached Joy asking her to help his “dog” because he was sick. Joy was then kidnapped, and eventually she bore Jack, the child who would live five years of his life enclosed in a shed.

Jack, unlike, Joy remains rather quiet until he finally opens to his grandma’s new husband Peter, whose dog Jack grows fond of.

Ultimately, the story of “Room” creates and then portrays a situation of loneliness and isolation, digging into the heartstrings of the audience, and effectively conveying a message on the impact of a larger reality to the conscience of one trapped within.