Hope for the hopeless: A Review of the film Room (2015)

27 06 2021
Room(2015) Joy and her son Jack

Every child, it is said, is a gift with one mouth to feed, two hands to help, and one brain to innovate. This is true even for a child born as a result of rape or kidnapping. Such was the case in the film Room (2015), which told the story of a young girl kidnapped and held hostage by a pervert for seven years. Joy Newsom (Brie Larson) was only 17 years old when her life was turned upside down when a man tricked her into his garage and locked the door. She stayed for seven years, weeping and begging for death a million times, but he foiled all her attempts to flee or kill herself.

But everything changed after she had a child. There’s something about a child that inspires hope.

“My whole world changed when I had Jack (Jacob Tremblay) because he was so beautiful,” Joy said after being released from captivity, and she became irritated when the interviewer insensitively asked her why she raised Jack in captivity rather than encouraging her captor to take him away.

“He restored meaning to my life.” When asked if it bothered her that Jack’s biological father is a pervert, Joy replied, “Everything about that child is me, he has nothing to do with him, because being a father is not about fathering a child, it is about loving a child,” and she clung to her son, protecting him in every way, ensuring that her captor never saw him or felt threatened by him so that he wouldn’t kill him or take him away from her. For example, whenever he is around and having his way with her, she will hide him in the closet. But when he’s gone, Joy will bathe and clean him, and they’ll play and exercise together. Her son Jack greatly helped her in survival, and when he was five, she began planning their escape.

She eventually convinced her captor that Jack was dead, and as he was on his way to bury him, Jack escaped and alerted a passerby, who called the police, who located his mother and freed her.

The film has won numerous awards and was voted one of the best films of 2015, not only because it elicited strong emotions in viewers who wondered what could account for the great evil found in the human heart and what drives people to do unspeakable things like this, but also because it demonstrates that in the end, good triumphs over evil. The birth of Jack in the midst of captivity and despair was a gift to his mother, helping her hold on to the tread of life, which would have easily snapped if he hadn’t been there. That is why those who advocate for abortion even in the most heinous circumstances are so mistaken because a child is a blessing and a source of hope for even the most hopeless.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba


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