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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Review: The Room

Director: Christian Volckman
Screenplay: Sabrina B. Karine, Eric Forestier, and Christian Volckman
Year: 2020

What would your wishes be if there was a room that can grant you every material wish you can imagine? “The Room” expands on this concept that got to the mainstream in the “Harry Potter” saga as the Room of Requirements, but as we have seen in less family-friendly movies such as “Wishmaster”, granted wishes have a cost.

Matt and Kate move to a new house in an isolated rural area. In the process of moving and settling into the new place, they discover that the house has an additional hidden room, which they find out that it is capable of granting them any material wish they have. After unsuccessfully trying to have children, what they most desire is to have a kid, but the wishes the room grant have a cost.

The idea that “The Room” brings is extremely interesting and opens to infinite opportunities about where it can go. In this case, the script of Sabrina B. Karine (“The Innocents”), Eric Forestier and also director Christian Volckman (“Renaissance”) prefers to take a more emotional path by exploring the relationship of a couple when they consider using the power of the room to fulfill their fantasy of becoming parents. However, the execution of the idea doesn’t bring justice to its originality and how interesting it is.

Most of the time we follow the actions of both parts of the couple and their actions in a plot that depends on how much the viewer can identify with its characters. The construction of these characters plays against it by constantly making illogical decisions that go against the personality that is shown of them. Similarly, the acting of the cast starred by Olga Kurylenko (“Quantum of Solace”) and Kevin Janssens (“Revenge”) accentuate the character’s issues and hinder even more their development and the potential that the viewer might identify with them.

What is done exceedingly well in this movie is the way in which the story is complemented with the cinematography. Only by placing a few well-chosen elements in the scene Volckman manages to say a lot about what’s happening with every character and helps to get more information across about how they feel and what they wish. It is worth highlighting that this is a movie that has close to no special effects, for why using the cinematography as an aesthetic factor as well as a vector for exposition is not a trivial work and the director exceeds in this field.

“The Room” mixes suspense and science fiction with parenthood philosophy and a very interesting concept of a room that is capable of granting material wishes. The way in which the story is developed, the interactions between the characters and their development affect the concept’s potential and this is worsened by the many holes in its plot and its predictable turns. “The Room” has as many virtues as it has defects and it seems like those movies where many will love it or hate it and only a few, like me, will remain neutral by recognizing its potential but being frustrated by how it is hindered.

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