Film Review: The Roommate

The Roommate, a 2011 psychological thriller film, is a movie I have been meaning to sit down and watch it for quite some time now. I finally did view the film and thought I might review it for other’s sake, specifically because it was not exactly what I assumed it would be.

The film was directed by Christian E. Christiansen and stars Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, and Cam Gigandet, Kelly playing Sara, Meester playing Rebecca, and Gigandet playing Stephen, Sara’s boyfriend. The movie depicts the interactions between Kelly and her roommate, Rebecca, and despite initially depicting a rather normal friendship between two, the film quickly progresses into unveiling the extremely terrifying motives behind Rebecca’s friendship with Sara.

It is revealed approximately halfway through the film that Rebecca suffers from psychosis and has not been diligent with the medication she takes to aid in maintaining her condition, thus provoking her drastic behavior in her friendship with Sara. I found it somewhat disappointing that the film seemingly portrays Rebecca as a villain and further a monster because she suffers from mental illness, and I strongly believe the film could have handled her condition in a far more respectful manner.

The movie is definitely a thriller, and I give credit to Christiansen and his ability to build significant suspense with his unique camera views and the overall atmosphere of the film. I found the casting to be strong and the acting to be quite believable, but again, I have difficulty praising a movie that handles the topic of mental illness so poorly.

Overall, I would not recommend this film to others. There was zero information regarding Rebecca’s background and what exactly her illness consists of, nor was there any attempt to clarify what exactly psychosis is for individuals who are unfamiliar with this type of mental illness. It was lacking in major areas and strong in others, and definitely gave a very negative connotation to college roommates.

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