The scene from The Room that I chose to break down is the confrontation between Chris R. and Denny, about the drug money that Denny supposedly owes him. This scene is about 33 minutes into the film. To start off, the cinematography in this scene is boring and unspecial at best. It consists of majority medium/close-up “over the shoulder” shots, with a few pan and long shots thrown in there. I think this scene has a lot of potential to be a serious and intense scene, but the little variety they have in the shots makes it seem uninteresting. For example, they could have added some high or low-angle shots to establish the dominance and power that Chris R. held over Denny in that moment. Additionally, when Lisa and her mother are confronting Denny after Chris R. has been taken away, Lisa isn’t even entirely in the frame! Even though she shows some of the most dynamic emotions in this scene compared to the rest of the film, we still only see half of her face. The lack of competent decision making makes the scene seem more comical than it already is.
Another strange thing about this scene is that it seems to be very important, at first, to the plot, but it is never brought up again after it ends. As Aja Romano says in her article, “plot points appear and disappear at random”, and this is definitely one of them. The fact that Denny is involved in some sort of drug scheme, and could be in danger, especially when Johnny and Lisa are technically his guardians, typically would be a major plot point in a normal movie, but as we all know, this isn’t a normal movie at all. Not only do we never see Chris R. again, and we have no clue what happens to him in the slightest, but we never even address the fact that Denny owes him money! We never know if the debt is settled, or if Chris R. gets arrested, or even what exactly Denny was involved in. Because of this, the sequence of events adds nothing to the plot or even the development of our characters. It was just one of those nonsense scenes we see throughout this movie, that almost seems like it is there to just fill time.
The mise-en-scene is also extremely boring in this scene. Truly, the only props and decorations we see are a basketball, that Denny is for some reason playing with on a roof, a gun, and some cheap patio furniture. The city skyline in the background is very obviously fake and looks almost like it has been edited with a terrible blurring tool. Again, like I said before, there are definitely things that could be added to the set design in order to give the scene the seriousness it deserves. Maybe the tables could have been made of glass, so that when Chris R. attacks Denny, things can be broken, and add another threat to the fight. Or maybe it could have been dark outside, which could have also added a sense of urgency and vulnerability.
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