Today I want to talk about The Immaculate Room, a 2022 movie with a minimal premise: two people and a simple white space.
These are Mikey and Kate, a seemingly ordinary couple who accept the challenge of Professor Voyan, a billionaire and scientist admired and criticized worldwide.
The proposal of this bizarre and reckless professor is simple: spend 50 days in a room where there is absolutely nothing except a bed and a shared bathroom.
They will have no contact with the outside world, making their meals tasteless, colorless mixtures.
If they succeed, at the end of this forced cohabitation, they will have as much as $50 million as a prize, which would obviously fix them up for life.
What could it be, you must be thinking, right? Exactly what the two protagonists feel, who accept already convinced that it will be as simple as a walk in the park.
However, time passes much more slowly than they could have imagined when there is nothing to do but be in their partner’s company and their own thoughts.
Moreover, Mikey believes the professor will try to play dirty, such as altering the speed of the wall clock, to alienate them even more from reality.
To make matters worse, just as the arguments between husband and wife begin, they wake up one morning to find a loaded gun in the bathroom.
However, to relieve the stress, the couple can benefit from some bonuses called Treats, but these have an increasing cost each time that will be deducted from their final prize.
One of these bonuses will be a naked girl, the beautiful Simone claiming to be an actress, whose presence will gnaw the couple’s already tenuous bond more until the shocking final act.
How much is your peace worth?
Beginning with the direction of Mukunda Michael Dewil, the South African filmmaker is partially successful in finding the perfect balance.
The greatest strength of this 2022 movie lies in the synergy between Emile Hirsch and Kate Bosworth, with credible performance pairing unpredictable dynamics during their holiday in the Immaculate Room.
Despite the apparent peacefulness between the two protagonists, this composure gradually dissolves as the minutes pass.
The absence of external distraction brings out the more negative aspects of their personalities instead of uniting the wife and husband together in the challenge.
Regarding the setting, the elegance and attractiveness of the room rest in its minimalist style, although the excessive high-tech in the environment sometimes takes the plot away from the characters.
A more nostalgic and vintage approach could veer more impactful within the breakdown of the family unit, shifting to contempt and hatred in the relationship.
Remarkably, the director avoids using excessive violence or gory scenes during the prolonged hours spent in the room.
Otherwise, sometimes there is a tendency to linger in moments of silence and static that are excessively monotonous and lacking in bite or tension.
The same is true of the intriguing and stimulating interaction of the seductive Ashley Greene, who fits in as a destabilizing element, whose participation ends prematurely and seems almost like a segment disconnected from the main narrative.
Despite such flaws, these fade in the face of the film’s deeper and more universal message.
The meaning that emerges, simple and timeless, is the importance of money in life, which, however, should not be the only value.
It is essential to weigh what one is willing to sacrifice, a lesson the two lovers will learn, painfully, only later.
So once they leave the room, nothing will ever be the same again.
Boredom, loneliness and jealousy
As mentioned, the best feature of this 2022 movie is the guests of the Immaculate Room, a couple who creepily and wonderfully work until the very end.
Emile Hirsch plays a character who goes through an extremely rapid evolution, being a creative artist, because he is more vulnerable than his wife to boredom and repetitiveness.
I couldn’t say why, but watching him reminded me of the wandering protagonist in Into the Wild, in an alternate reality where he took different paths.
However, Hirsch finds himself progressively mentally alienated, even spending $100,000 on a bit of drawing crayon.
Instead, it’s hilarious to see Ashley Greene enter the scene, completely undressed, and the apparent awkwardness and attraction that follows.
However, the intruder does not seem to upset Kate Bosworth, more offended because she feels neglected and lonely than out of actual jealousy.
Although his wife’s resistance is more enduring, her transformation will prove even more radical.
Recently, this actress has shone in the dark and sensual role of House of Darkness, but her seduction is set aside to explore more of the character’s inner conflict.
An emblematic example and the best moment in the movie is the heartbreaking scene in which she hears her father asking for help, whom she had tried so hard to forget.
From that point, we also better understand Mikey’s character and how much we endured the moods and some nastiness of his wife, who was not as innocent as she seemed at first.
In short, the plot is essential but not empty or stupid; there is much to discover if you want to delve into the dialogues about the hidden past of these characters.