The story of a young girl imprisoned in a small room by her abductor, who escapes with the help of her five year old son, born in that captivity, and what happens after.
This is an emotionally brutal story to watch. It’s not that it’s a horror film, it’s not a thriller or even explicit. It’s because it is so revelatory of human nature in both its evil and its grandeur. It’s more about the power of imagination to overcome the psychological effects of such abuse. And as recent current news events have shown, this kind of thing is quite real.
Whereas most thrillers would end with the girl escaping, this movie’s second half is about the difficulty of both mother and son to overcome the trauma that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. It deals with the aftermath and damage that man’s inhumanity to man wreaks upon victim’s lives as well as their families.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie is quite understated in its realism. We see the strength of this young woman in dealing with her and her son’s issues in the best way she knows how, with her limited yet loving resources. It wrestles with the existential questions: How would a young child born in captivity cope with the smallness of their existence? And how would they see the huge vast world, once released? How frightening would it be to try to enter? And yet, how it is loved ones and friends who help us to fit into that very world. We need each other.
A Case Study in Pro-Life Narrative
There is a big picture going on here. I don’t believe it is without reason that young woman is never named in the film beyond her son’s “Ma.” So in a way she is an archetype for something bigger. (Brie Larson’s acting in the role is transcendental)
Let me explain…
Room shows the young mother’s struggles with the past that haunts her, it shows the cruel exploitation of the media, and the loving embrace of her own mother and stepfather. But it also captures the dignity in confronting the heartlessness of her own father who cannot accept her beautiful innocent child, Jack, because he is the product of rape from an evil man.
And that is where the powerful moral gut punch of this movie hits home. WOW, this has got to be one of the MOST PRO-LIFE incarnations I have ever seen. I mean, here is your example of the product of the worst violation of women you can imagine, here is the very incarnation of the rape scenario that abortion lovers screech about. And yet, and yet, only a heartless cruel soulless bastard would project such hatred and rejection upon the innocent child who was a product of that conception. And I am speaking of the audience of this film, not an abstract argument. The boy is a wonderful precious child, who the viewer only wants to grow up and live the world. (AMAZING acting by the young Jacob Tremblay)
This movie is like a cinematic 3D Ultrasound. No, more than that. It settles the rape question regarding abortion, period. There are no arguments left for abortion based on rape. It’s all over for the cult of death. You cannot make the rape argument anymore. You just can’t deny the moral force of this story, without denying your own humanity.
The only reason I can think of that explains why the otherwise Abortion-worshipping Academy would nominate such a movie is because it probably didn’t catch the point. Did the filmmakers know what they were doing? I honestly don’t know. All I know is that the narrative incarnates a pro-life argument against the quintessential “most difficult” complication of rape. And love wins, hands down. There it is, as crystal clear as an ultrasound.
And here is the kicker. The movie has no apparent “political messaging” to it at all. The narrative was so compelling that I didn’t even catch all that I am writing about until I thought it through to write about it. Call me as thick skulled as the Academy. But I just think that’s what makes truly GREAT storytelling. Incarnation. You’re so caught up, you don’t realize the truth has just captured you.
I am tempted to also go into another issue indirectly addressed in this movie, namely capital punishment, making this a “fully Pro-Life” movie. But I will just leave you with God’s sentiments about it:
Exodus 21:16: “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.”
Watching this movie helps you understand why God thinks that way.