Room: One of my Favorite Films of Last Year

The one thing that happens to you when you finally shut down your screen after the final credits of Room have rolled, is that you realize the world is the same, but somewhere deep inside you, somewhere, where it matters, probably the most; somewhere you have changed.

Lenny Abrahamson’s share in Room is arguably just as much as screenwriter (and the writer of the original novel) Emma Donoghue’s is. For although Emma Donoghue has written a tale, so profoundly moving, in a way that seems more powerful on the page, than it does on screen; a complaint that most fans have when their favourite book’s adaptation is announced; Lenny with his distinct vision and brilliant handling of actors and frame composition ensures that hardly any charm of the novel is lost in this translation.

Of course, the Director of Photography, Danny Cohen too framed his shots in such a manner to always evoke that sense of claustrophobia, the desire to escape and implanted it subconsciously in the minds of the viewer. The palette of colours ranging from the almost depressing, yet on retrospect a sort of warm, blue-ness in the phase of the movie in Room itself. The bright white which is almost too much for your eyes to bear showing the blinding nature of the outside world, when they escape and are in the hospital makes for some food for thought.

But perhaps the most standout elements of this film, are the performances. The acting is so unique and powerful, the leads, Brie Larson and young Jacob Tremblay make you feel each ebb and flow in their characters and their outlooks towards life, the world and each other. Brie Larson can be seen in a number of minor roles throughout her career (one of my favourites being her small appearance in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) but none, leaving aside this particular role that won her the Oscar, was more beautifully portrayed than the one in Short Term 12. Jacob Tremblay is a very young actor, at this stage, but he definitely shows great promise and hopefully shall continue on this track and unlike most stars who attain fame at a young age, I hope he shall not fall into ruin.

Emma Donoghue’s script, much like the novel the film is based upon is a work of art, that deserves much more accolade than it has and is one of my personal favourite scripts and hopefully she shall continue to deliver brilliant scripts while working on profound and uniquely presented novels at the same time.

Room in an experience, a transformative one, one that you must undergo. I believe I have changed upon seeing this film and hopefully you shall too. One begins to question this world, after seeing this film. What would it be like, if you weren’t born into the middle of it? What if (much like Bane in The Dark Knight Rises) you were born in the darkness, away from the “light” of the world? Would your view of this light, have been much more different? Cynical, perhaps? One shall never know, but to question is the best we can do. Room provokes you to question.

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A Re-View of Whiplash

I first saw Whiplash, not too long before the Oscars where it shone as the beacon of Indie Cinema, defeating fellow low-budget film Boyhood at both, the box-office and the most famous award ceremony in the world, if not the most prestigious. What probably helped it, was a story that was easier to relate to, even if the worst a terrible teacher had done to you was ask you to stand out of class, or probably give you a bad grade. The struggle against an oppressive force is something basic human instinct responds to and related to and that is what most of us did with Whiplash. That is, of course, to take nothing away from the brilliant technical and artistic achievements of the film itself.

The one aspect of the film that comes to mind, quite rightfully, as soon as its name is uttered is not the composition referred to in the title and several times throughout the movie. Rather, J.K. Simmons. This one man powerhouse completely stole the show and destroyed and decimated the emotions of the protagonist and the audience alike. Using Damien Chazelle’s brilliant’s script’s perfect lines to burn down all of Andrew Neiman’s (played quite wonderfully by Miles Teller) emotional balance. His voice un-relenting and the sarcastic barbs hitting hard, right where they’re supposed to. Simmons’ egomaniacal, lunatic of a character is what drives this film and provides the burst of adrenaline in what would otherwise have been an almost lackluster movie.

The brilliant sound-track too stands out, it’s definitely not something for the hardcore Jazz Fans for some of whom this entire film might feel stupid. But for the un-initiated like myself, it’s a great soundtrack and definitely one you can revisit multiple times.

Damien Chazelle has surely and securely announced that he’s in this business for real and hopefully his upcoming film (La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone) will only help further his reputation as a brilliant writer and director and hopefully he’ll continue to be one of the shining stars of American Independent Cinema.