That was the only moment I choked up the entire movie.
So I finally saw this after all the hype and Alison Brie. And really there’s isn’t that much to say about it. I mean the narrative is pretty straight forward and it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. Acting is great from the kid actor but it could largely be due to the fact that not many kids his age have the chance to showcase their skills. Alison Brie not so much but then again what was I expecting.
I think the premise is a great one and had a lot of potential but then the actual storyline is lacking in the deep end but you can argue it is neither as deep nor dark due to the fact that it is from the perspective of the kid. And that is what I wish was different, in the sense, if the narrative changed once they left the room would have open more doors for more anything, like literally it would involved so much more potential stuff.
I mean the director probably did what she wanted and that was to bring a feel good story about two abductees and a child who sees the world for the first time. I have to admit, I’m probably not the ideal audience but even with that said, I feel that the cinematography could have been much more personal and authentic in terms of showcasing the kid’s emotional ordeal through this incident. There were a lot of scenes where it felt like it was going somewhere but the way it was shot felt empty and lacking in emotional punch. I mean sure, there was an impact but I felt like it could have been done in a way that would have made it much more memorable.
I do have to say that the acting in the room was good enough and it just went downhill after they escaped. The scenes in the room were powerful in a sense and impressive at times but it seems that people now really just enjoy emotional outbursts and consider that to be a staple of great acting. The emotional trauma felt rather weak and just didn’t jive well with the rest of the narrative. With Jack’s slowly digesting the world, I felt they could have done more? With the rest of the cast at the end, it just felt awkward to introduce them as they were forgettable and got in the way of the actual ‘good’ part of the film which was the mother/son relationship. The writer herself wrote the screenplay and I never read the book but I felt that those characters were just shoehorned into it and had their problems (new mom boyfriend and fail dad? I seriously do not get why that was even important) try to create more ‘conflict’ . I really hope that there’s more development with the parents in the book because it felt super rushed and out of place in the part of the narrative. But you can justify this by saying “oh it’s from Jack’s perspective, so of course, it would be rushed and he wouldn’t understand”, and yes that is true and it’s just lacking in the depth that I so wish this film had.
But all in all, this goes back to what I would have liked versus the vision of the director. This probably is liked by the general audience as it’s a feel happy movie and that’s what people want to see nowadays compare to dark and gloomy. I knew what I was going into and it still felt disappointing because it largely boils down to a good premise but lackluster execution. And its the irony of it all that I found this lackluster whereas the quotes on the poster for this film is revolving around a ‘life-changing experience’.