A couple (Emile Hirsch, Kate Bosworth) tries to win five million dollars by staying in a sterile white room for fifty days.
A couple attempts to win five million dollars by staying in a sterile white environment for fifty days. The Immaculate Room ebbs and flows in the first two acts before seizing your attention with a surprising climax. The psychological thriller hurls several twists that radically alter the dynamics of a bizarre experiment. Questions regarding the set-up are left purposely unanswered. The narrative focuses on the decline of human spirit and kindness under duress. How much would you be willing to sacrifice for life-changing wealth? The Immaculate Room fascinates more often than not in a lean runtime.
Michael Walsh (Emile Hirsch) and Katherine Frith (Kate Bosworth) enter a cavernous white room giddy with excitement. They’re easily going to win millions. The rules are straightforward. A digital clock counts down the fifty days. Color-changing LEDs line the bottom and top walls. There’s a large bed, bench in the middle, and oval-shaped ceiling lights. A side door leads to a bathroom which allows only one person. A drawer dispenses “FOOD”, a colorless and flavorless liquid in a carton. A woman’s voice alerts to wake up, midday, and bedtime. A black camera watches from above. A big red button sits on the wall. Both participants quitting loses the money. There’s a million-dollar prize if someone chooses to stay alone for the duration.
Mike and Kate’s first few days are a breeze. They play silly games, exercise, and meditate. Kate starts her mornings with a positive affirmation. Boredom creeps in as time slowly passes. Mike starts to think the clock isn’t accurate. Grievances emerge as the days crawl by. They argue about lifestyle choices. Mike is just a spoiled vegan who got everything he wanted. Kate’s spiritualism covers her mean personality. The couple start to fall apart with literal weeks left.
Pulling Through a Dull Endeavor
The Immaculate Room isn’t a prison. Mike and Kate can leave at any time. Press the red button and millions vanish. The rub is that they’re the only sources of stimulation. Can their love and intimacy pull them through a dull endeavor? Anyone who’s been in a relationship knows how nerves easily fray. Imagine not being able to walk away and calm down after an argument. Greed becomes a powerful and essential motivator for peace. The characters must measure their values against a potential fortune. It gets ugly when they each realize that the money may not solve every problem.
Director/writer Mukunda Michael Dewil (Retribution, Vehicle 19) hints at a nefarious puppet master. Is something sinister afoot? His script adds dangerous elements that surprise the characters. I did have an issue with how a specific turn is handled. The characters behave irrationally at a crucial juncture. The lust for cash can be used to explain away common sense. You’ll have to watch and see if this is just a feint.
The Immaculate Room saves the best for last. I was casually interested until a beguiling third act. Dewil ups the ante with stunning developments. I actually think he holds back here. Dewil should have squeezed every contentious drop. An opportunity was missed to get truly wicked.
The Immaculate Room is a production of Radiant Films International, Joker Films Production, K5 International, Productivity Media, K5 Film Productivity, Media Pictures, and Balcony 9 Productions. It will have a VOD and theatrical release on August 19th from Screen Media.