Title: Love Gets a Room
MPA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Starring: Clara Rugaard, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, and Mark Ryder
Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes
What It Is: The year is 1942 in Warsaw, Poland. Jewish people have been forced to live in ghettos by the Nazis and face extreme oppression. During these bleak times, a Jewish theater troupe attempts to keep spirits up while performing a play. But when a plan to escape the ghetto suddenly involves the actress Stefcia (Clara Rugaard) , paranoia amongst the cast members begins to stir. Soon, she finds herself having to make a decision: escape with her former lover Patryk (Mark Ryder) or stay with the man she truly loves, Edmund (Ferdia Walsh Peelo). Love Gets a Room is a historical drama that asks a very important question: is it better to love or to be loved?
What We Think: Trying to gather this reviewers’ thoughts on this film is no easy task. How does one describe a film that moved them so tremendously that it has completely blown them away? I will try my best. This film is arguably the best film I have ever reviewed. From the very first minute, you are completely drawn in. The script, the acting, the costume design, it was all top notch. The only remotely negative things I would say about it were the child actress’ words were a little hard to understand at times and some of the dialogue I couldn’t always make out due to possibly sound levels. In every other aspect it was brilliant, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. This would not be a review worthy of your time if all I did was tell you how much I personally enjoyed it, so let’s break it down and sing accolades where they need to be sung.
As I was saying, from the very first minute, you are drawn in. Through a very chaotic journey following our lead character Stefcia, we travel through the Warsaw Ghetto and see the brutal reality that was living as a Jewish person in that environment. The entire sequence is so nail biting and so well done that I challenge more mainstream modern movies to match it in intensity. From then on, once she gets to the theater, the real drama begins. From there, the tension of the movie takes you through an absolute roller coaster of emotions while the actors attempt to keep the show alive despite the direction the night begins going. The movie makes a very clear statement on the selflessness of love and ultimately how important it is to not let oneself be completely dehumanized.
All of the acting is excellent, but if one has to choose a standout performance . . . Clara Rugaard, the actress that plays Stefcia, is one hell of a performer. Great actress, great dancer, great singer, and when she feels something on screen, she has the uncanny ability to make you feel it too. At times Stefcia is a tough, no nonsense survivor. At others she’s an incredibly vulnerable woman who is living through the darkest of times. There is a scene that involves her breaking down and it is gut wrenching. Of course, this movie does have a larger cast than Clara. Every actor pulled their weight and portrayed their character with expert precision. The main cast fully delivered on all fronts.
The actual production design, costume design, and the songs in the musical portions all deserve praise too. The costumes and locations all looked authentic, and the songs added much needed levity in between sections where we saw what the actors were going through behind the scenes. All in all, in a lot of ways, it was a film executed spectacularly.
Our Grade: A+, those of you who have read my reviews in the past know I don’t hand out A+’s lightly, but this movie deserves that and then some. This movie expertly told the heartbreaking tale of a theater troupe of Jewish actors trying to survive the Nazi’s and it was truly touching. You felt for these characters. You felt their fears, you felt their struggles, and you felt their bravery against overwhelming and hopeless odds. Love Gets a Room is without a doubt the best movie I have reviewed this year and I truly believe it deserves any and all recognition it gets. I daresay it is mandatory viewing.