Note: This review contains spoilers for the film and book of Room
I wanted to watch Still Alice when I watched this, but netflix was being stupid so I watched Room on amazon instead, which turned out to be a good choice I think.
I rather enjoyed the book of Room which made me in equal parts excited about the film and anxious because so often films just don’t do the book justice.
It’s been a long time since I read it, so I probably forgot a few finer details, and the film reminded me of some others. Generally though I thought that Room was a good portrayal of the book.
As the book is told in a first person narrative I was unsure how well it would translate to film without having Jack speaking throughout, but actually they did it well. The way the story was still focused as Jack would see it was good, and sometimes Jack would say things ‘in his head’ but not to the point where it seemed pointless for it to be a film.
I found the suicide part of the storyline more hardhitting in the film than I remember it being in the book, maybe because you actually saw the suicide, which I have a feeling you didn’t in the book (feel free to correct me, it has been a long time).
They did miss some bits out though which I think might add something. The most notable thing left out for me was the stillborn baby which had come before Jack. Although I did see a hint towards it in the film it was only through what was seen by the viewer and I don’t think it would have been read that was by someone who didn’t have prior knowledge of the storyline
Streamed film(from £9.99)
I thought it would be good to make a post for International Woman’s Day (which, if it has managed to pass you by, is today) So I thought I would make a post about great women in literature. I would love to hear your own thoughts on this, who else would you include? Who wouldn’t you include?
In no particular order
1) Lyra Belacqua/Lyra Silvertongue (His Dark Materials- Phillip Pullman): Lyra’s quest in the first of the Northern Lights starts as a quest to save her friend, but as Lyra grows it becomes a fight for her beliefs and what is right.
2) Ana Fitzgerald (My Sister’s Keeper– Jodi Picoult): Ana is great because he stands up to her parents, a very difficult thing to do for a young girl, because she believes she is right. (Highlight for spoiler)Ultimately she does this not for selfish reasons but because her sister asked her to, which makes me respect her all the more
3) Ma (Room– Emma Donoghue): Ma is strong because she goes through so much but still manages to bring Jack up well despite being away from civilisation, and because she fights to get Jack out of Room
4) Thursday Next (The Thursday Next Series- Jasper Fforde): I find Thursday Next especially strong in Something Rotten, not only is she fighting the criminals, but she’s also fighting the establishment, the corporation, fighting to have her husband re-actualised and being a single parent!
5) Minny (The Help- Kathryn Stockett) Minny doesn’t take rubbish from anyone, even though she may be better off fearing. She holds together her family and is a great friend. When she is loyal she stays loyal but you certainly don’t want to get on the wrong side of her!
I watched Channel 4’s TV Book Club on and off last series and added a few books from my wishlist because of it (although the only one I’ve actually read so far that I heard about because of the show is The Help). This weekend they talked about Room which I read towards the end of last year. I was really looking forward to seeing what they had to say about it. Well what can I say I was hoping for a different view, maybe for someone to have some great insight, or to not like it, but it wasn’t so. Their discussion really didn’t cover anything my own review hadn’t. The only new thing really was that for an escapist reader it’s a bit of a depressing- but still great- book, which is something I mentioned in not so many words myself. In fact they really said very little of any substance.
The interview with Emma Donoghue was pretty interesting and made me look at things in different ways. She talked about how the objects in Room were like Jack’s friends which is something I hadn’t noticed, but I can really see now, and it makes me wonder what else I didn’t spot in Room.
The TV Book Club is reading The News Where You Are this series too, I wonder if they’ll have any new insights.
Filed under general, Musings
Synopsis (from Amazon)
It’s Jack’s birthday, and he’s excited about turning five.
Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits that there’s a world outside . . .
Told in Jack’s voice, Room is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. Unsentimental and sometimes funny, devastating yet uplifting, Room is a novel like no other.
This is the first book in quite a long time that I can say I’ve devoured. I wanted to just keep reading it, I didn’t want to put it down. I had to force myself to put it down before going to sleep (I always read in bed before going to sleep). It went far too fast, I almost wish that the story had continued, but, although it could have continued and still been interesting, I think it did end in the right place. I thought Donoghue got Jack’s voice just about right, I could really believe that the story was being told by a 5 year old boy. Maybe he was a bit too bright, but some kids really are that bright- and I can understand with all that one-on-one time with his Mum, with nothing to do that he would learn pretty quickly. I found the actual topic really interesting, I don’t want to give it away but I found the later chapters more interesting than the first, although they were interesting in other ways. There were quite a few references to childhood today that may be better read by parents but not knowing them wouldn’t really matter, and most of them could well be familiar from your own childhoods.