The following post talks of/hints at theme of sexually abuse, rape and violence.
I finally got round to seeing ‘Room’ last Saturday. I was apprehensive at first as Oscar winning films aren’t normally something I’d watch or genuinely enjoy but Room was different.
I have never been in a situation like the protagonist, Joy, but I can’t help put pick out bits of her story that I do relate to. Joy is a character that you feel sorry for right from the beginning of the film. She is incredibly easy to like and feel empathy for but not in a ‘hashtag relatable’ way. Joy’s son, Jack, is the reason Joy does what she does in the film. He’s a typical kid except he’s stuck in room and doesn’t know anything about the ‘real’ world. Old Nick is a character that you hate from the off. The first time you see him, you know he is the reason for Joy’s shitty situation/circumstances. He is Room’s equivalent of Jessica Jones’ Kilgrave. He is a sick twisted man that you just want to punch square in the face even though you don’t get formally introduced to him.
Room has helped so many people fight against the abuse in their lives. It gave people the chance to speak out about their circumstances. It let victims speak out about their rape, assault, abuse and oppression without being met with the usual victim blaming shit.
Whether your own ‘Room’ is metaphorical or physical, it doesn’t matter. Room keeps you safe. Sometimes Room may have been dangerous to ‘stay in’ but it is always there. For you.
Whether you have you own physical embodiment of Jack or not, it doesn’t matter. Your Jack is just like your own personal guardian angel or your knight in shining armour. Jack can be anyone or anything as long as he ‘works’ for you. Jack keeps you sane. Jack keeps you strong. Jack keeps you alive. In Room, he does this in the most innocent way that Joy was completely unaware of until she left the confines of the shed.
I wasn’t lucky enough to have my own Room but I did have a Jack. Yes, my Jack is a person but he isn’t aware of me. He kept me going. He kept me focused. He kept me safe. He kept me alive. He’s been a Steve, a Jake, a Nick and even a ‘Harvard Hottie’ but not a Jack, yet he is still my very own Jack. He made me realise that I don’t need shitty people in my life, people’s opinions do not define me and that I am so much more than my mental illness. Even though I may never be able to tell him in person, I cannot thank him enough. He is my real life superhero.