Room puts us into the mindset of five-year-old Jack, providing us a keyhole into his limited worldview as he leaves the room in which he's been trapped in all his life for the first time. What begins as an exciting premise on the exploration of the outside world through the alluring eyes of a child starts to lose its magic on us once the film dwells in melodrama, shifting its focus from thought-provokingly nuanced moments towards those driveling with superfluous sentiment.
After a thrilling first half in which Jack and his mother, 'Ma', plan their escape from their captor 'Old Nick' (a villain as one dimensional and stereotypically evil as they come), the film dips exponentially in intrigue and excitement as it attempts to explore the challenging adjustments to life outside and the emotional terrain of family dynamics.
It's a refreshing narrative endeavor: "What happens to the characters after the escape?" And Lenny Abrahamson's sensitive direction paired with the beautifully textured cinematography helps enrich the complexity of the characters' internal struggles. But with the petty family fights, the mother's contrived personal crisis, and a vapid build towards a neatly-wrapped ending, the film leaves you with an empty feeling somewhat akin to watching a cookie-cutter made-for-TV Lifetime movie in which you're satisfied with the outcome, but not surprised in any way. The film ultimately veers towards a perspective narrow in scope as the tiny room that it's set in.