Music Composed By: Stephen Rennicks
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on the novel by Emma Donaghue, Room stars Jacob Tremblay as Jack and Brie Larson as his mother Ma. Abducted over seven years ago, by a man Ma calls Old Nick (Sean Bridgers), the four walled room with a skylight, rudimentary kitchen, toilet and tub has been Ma's home all this time. Old Nick is five-year-old Jack's father. In an effort to make Jack's life as normal as possible, Ma plays elaborative, imaginative games with Jack and tells him stories. But when the opportunity to save her son arrives, she makes the ultimate sacrifice so that Jack may know the world that exists outside of the Room.
The musical score of Room was created by Irish composer Stephen Rennicks. Originally interested in architecture, Rennicks received classical music training and eventually performed around the world. For the past sixteen years, Rennicks has composed musical scores for television and film for Ireland, the UK, Europe and America. Some of his movie credits include Adam and Paul, Garage, What Richard Did, Viva, Forever Pure and Frank, for which he received several awards.
The Room Soundtrack features an orchestral score mixed with piano, synths and guitar. The score is mainly upbeat, a reflection of Jack's positive nature. According to Stephen Rennicks, "The challenge was to find a piece that could celebrate Jack's positivity without being entirely in conflict with the horror of his situation that we as the audience are so aware of...This was the key in many ways to the rest of the film's score because we could dial things up and down from there, as Jack begins to discover that there is more beyond the walls, roof and floor of his world, the music moves away tonally from the initial rendering of his voiceover theme."
Tracks like Big Rock Candy Mountain, performed by Brie Larson, give the listener the idea of the world Ma is trying to create for her son - a positive spot in a dark, dangerous situation. Other tracks like Wardrobe, The Mighty Rio Grande and Mouse are mystical and magical, mirroring Jack's naive sense of discovery. Gone Day is at once spooky and yet enlightening as the world outside of the four walls Jack has known since birth is revealed to him. Freedom is near and that thought is ever present as the track builds.
The musical score of Room is an excellent listen that tells the tale of the film without overpowering it. Adding to the dramatic visuals, the score intensifies the danger of the situation, the wonderment of the world Jack is only beginning to know and the drama of trying to re-enter the world Ma has been stolen from. The Room Soundtrack is quite and emotionally uplifting listen suited for the background music of the film as well as a stand alone album.