adaptation · Books · Films · literature · reading

Room: Book to Film Adaptation

Recently I finally got around to watching Room. As usual, spoilers lay ahead for anyone who hasn’t seen the film or read the book. You can however read my spoiler free review of the book here. So anyway on to the film…

I loved the book, especially the way in which it was told and I was of course sceptical about how it would translate to film. However, shockingly, I loved the film too! Yes they changed some aspects, but these were minor and didn’t alter the story that much. As a film, it of course becomes a different story as you are no longer seeing it entirely through a five year olds perspective, but it works and it works well.

Strangely, the fear and sadness I felt in the book was reversed in the film. The first half of the book wasn’t as dark and scary as it was in the film, this was due obviously to the eyes I was seeing it through. Jack loves Room and so the narrative set with in it is much lighter whereas the second half of the book, when Jack is confronted with a world he knows nothing about, is much darker. As you would expect, these two things reverse in the film when you see Room as it really is and not as a much loved home.

The escape from Room is where the film really gets it right. All of the terror and anxiety that builds up in the book in these moments are wonderfully translated into film…yes I cried, yes I knew exactly what was going to happen and still cried. Most of this is due to the talent of the young actor Jacob Tremblay who plays a superb Jack!

I felt every emotion of the well cast characters. Yes, the second half of the film was a little lacking. It was beautifully done, however I felt that Jack, in particular, seemed to adjust much easier on film than he did in the book. It does lose some of its uniqueness and in parts humour without its five year old narrator, but the heart of the novel remains intact. A rare thing in adaptations.

I am so happy to be able to recommend this film so highly. I go into any adaptation with trepidation while still trying to keep an open mind but I was gladly, not disappointed with Room.

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