Release Date: April 29, 2016
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writer: Jeremy Saulnier
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Joe Cole, Alia Shawkat, Callum Turner, David W. Thompson, Mark Webber, Macon Blair, Eric Edelstein, Michael Draper, Andy Copeland, Brent Werzner, Lj Klink, Kasey Brown, Taylor Tunes, Imogen Poots, Kai Lennox, Jake Love, Kyle Love, October Moore, Joseph Bertot, Patrick Stewart, Jacob Kasch, Samuel Summer, Mason Knight, Colton Ruscheinsk
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 95 minutes
Production Company: Broad Green Pictures, Film Science, A24
Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller
It’s a big plus to have no clue how a story will end. That’s what Green Room had to offer and so much more. The trailers mislead you in the best of ways, promising a tight edge of your seat thriller, delivering on that promise, but from a completely different angle than you’re expecting. It doesn’t matter if you relate to the characters initially or not, because it’s about them surviving as human beings. What their particular taste in art or fashion is is for another conversation. During the first ten minutes I wanted to walk out, feeling this film had nothing to offer me but a waste of time. Shortly after, I found myself head first invested in a group of people randomly falling into a mix up that will change their lives.
What’s fascinating is it can happen to anyone, and that’s what grabs you in the story. Even though the story is very contained, in one location, it still has a powerful magnitude of layers that the average person may not notice. There’s several underlying themes and degrees of separation that connect all the characters. It goes to show how far you would go for a friend or family member, and how much you really know those said individuals.
Patrick Stewart is the main antagonist in the film, and while he wasn’t the scary fierce presence I heard about going in, he still made his mark on screen. His take on the role was different than anything that’s come before, and after such a long career he still has many talents left up his sleeve.
The rest of the characters are thrown into the most unique situations and have to come up with a plan or else their lives will end. What impressed me the most was the decision on getting all the characters to the place where they’d make their stand. As you’re witnessing events play out you’re unclear on which side has the upper hand. This makes the scenes pop out, with more at stake and anticipation of what’s going to happen next. You don’t know what is going to happen, and that makes the experience that much more entertaining.
While entertaining, it could’ve been even more entertaining if the main cast would’ve asked certain questions that would have seemed obvious to ask, but they never come up. For minutes on minutes I just wanted someone to ask, “What happened?” That may have shed some light on the situation, but no one ever does. It’s a small distraction that dilutes down to nothing, but for a while it did hang over as the plot failed to flesh itself out fully.
Green Room is a small film in a small area, with small action that has impact. It’s a realistic puzzle that needs to be solved in a small amount of time or you may not see the next day. One word that comes to mind after watching Green Room is ‘innocence,’ b/c that’s what the protagonists were before things went south. You’re on board cheering them on, having no clue what’s going to happen next, and at the end it sparks a conversation about how you would’ve handle the same situation.