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Lenny Abramhamson's (Frank) upcoming film Room stars Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay as mother and son, respectively, who are held against their will in a room. For Jack (Tremblay's character), this is the only life that he's ever known. Even in the trailer we can see the visual language Abrahamson uses to help to portray that narrative.
When unpacking a short trailer like this one, something that's really helpful is to watch it half-speed, on mute in order to really take in the visuals after viewing it a couple times. That being said, there are a lot of really interesting things that Abrahamson does with the dialogue and the visuals that appear on-screen.
The first thing I noticed about the trailer is the way the Alice in Wonderland conversation coincides with a high angle shot of Larson looking up through the skylight of the room they're trapped in. By cutting the trailer this way, Abrahamson engages the viewer with both dialogue and the visuals. It looks like Brie is staring out of a hole, the same way they talk about Alice falling down a hole.
The shot above really gives the trailer a sense of perspective. And who the film is about. While it can be assumed that it's about Larson and her troubles, it can also be said that the whole film is shot from Jack's perspective.
Above we have a shot of the room they have been living in for years. If you can, for a second, imagine what that would be like, I'm sure that the word "claustrophobic" would come to mind. But what we see in this moment is a lot of empty space in comparison to the characters that inhabit it.
This tells us that we're viewing the space through Jack's lens. Since he's physically a lot smaller than Larson, we can see how he perceives the world as larger than a grown adult would.
That being said, the shot above (which happens after the two get out of the room) expands on this idea of everything being "larger than life" in a child's eyes. We can really get a sense of depth and wonder in this short scene.
We can get a sense of Jack's wonder in this scene through the way Abrahamson set up the scene. We have windows that surround the room which is a stark contrast to where Jack used to live. Abrahamson also gives frames within this single frame, this gives the audience multiple focal points. We can look out the windows and see the scope of the world through Jack's eyes.
The way the chair is placed in the corner of the room gives us a skewed sense of scale that complements the narrative of the film. It looks like it's almost the same height as Jack, nailing in the idea that Jack's world up to this point has been so small.
The final shot of the trailer combines the visuals, dialogue, and the scope of the shots as a focal point of the film. We have a short conversation between Larson and Tremblay about the outside world (we can assume that this takes place before they escape the room) while seeing the two of them out by the water.
Jack runs across the frame with the tower and the ocean for scale. We can see how both of our characters are so small in comparison to the world they weren't allowed to experience by force. By ending the trailer this way, we get a sense of hope and space which is a lot different from the two feelings we have at the beginning of the trailer.
Abrahamson utilizes a visual language that helps round out the environment of the film. Room will be in theaters October 16th, 2015
1 comment
This is a really chilling trailer. Having read the book, I honestly don't know if I'll be able to see the movie, because just reading it was so unsettling. I think another thing that was really present was fear. Room itself doesn't seem very scary, because the story is from Jack's perspective and that place is what he knows. But the moment when he opens his eyes in the back of the truck is shot so beautifully, the world seems to vast and terrifying. I have a feeling this adaptation is going to be great, and maintain a lot of Jack's voice.