Combustible Celluloid Review - The Immaculate Room (2022), Mukunda Michael Dewil, Mukunda Michael Dewil, Emile Hirsch, Kate Bosworth, Ashley Greene, M. Emmet Walsh
Combustible Celluloid
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With: Emile Hirsch, Kate Bosworth, Ashley Greene, M. Emmet Walsh
Written by: Mukunda Michael Dewil
Directed by: Mukunda Michael Dewil
MPAA Rating: R for some drug use and nudity
Running Time: 92
Date: 08/19/2022

The Immaculate Room (2022)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

A Whiter Shade of Pale

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

While it doesn't go as far or dig as deep as it might have, this tense drama still has enough interesting ideas and vivid visual schemes, in addition to strong performances, to make it worth a look.

Mike (Emile Hirsch) and Kate (Kate Bosworth) have signed up for an experiment. They must spend 50 days in a white room, together, alone, with no contact to the outside world. If they succeed, $5 million is theirs. They're confident it can be done, but stress, and extreme boredom, sets in.

Mike decides to take a "treat," which takes $100,000 off of their prize. It turns out to be a green crayon, and he decorates the walls. Kate finds a gun. Mike takes another treat. This one costs $250,000, and it turns out to be a naked woman, Simone (Ashley Greene). Kate takes her treat, which turns out to be three hits of Ecstasy. It's not long before jealousy and guilt rear their heads. Will they make it to the end?

The design for The Immaculate Room is everything one could hope for. The room is vast, with nothing but a bed, a little nook for the doorway, and a separate bathroom (food, or, rather, goopy life-sustaining liquid, is delivered at mealtimes). It's oppressive in its whiteness, and the movie takes on a whole different tone after Mike's beautiful, eerie green artworks adorn the walls. Hirsch and Bosworth provide the movie's beating heart, adding just the right amount of energy to the still surroundings.

One wishes that they might have come more mentally prepared for the boredom, and their "this'll be a piece of cake" attitude at the start is laughable. And the turns of events in the third act feel a little too cursory, a little too easy; the characters become less human and more like pawns of the screenplay.

As it wraps up, it feels as if the movie isn't really about much more than money and how it corrupts. Even so, it generates a certain amount of suspense with its simple question: how long can they last, and, perhaps more importantly, how long would we, the viewers, last? It's an OK effort, but it's a shame that The Immaculate Room had to cut corners.

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