The Roommate Plot: A deranged college student in her first year becomes obsessed with her new roommate. What happens then?
Business rating: 1
Star cast: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigande.
What’s Good: Leighton Meester’s performance; the idea of an obsessive roommate is exciting.
What’s Bad: The mediocre story; the writer’s lack of imagination when it comes to planning murders.
Verdict: The Roommate makes for an average watch. It will not do well at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: You may miss parts of the first half and yet not miss much!
Watch or Not?: Only if you like mild thrillers.
Screen Gems and Vertigo Entertainment’s The Roommate is a psychological thriller about a girl who gets obsessed with her college roommate, something that leads to disastrous results for both of them.
Sara (Minka Kelly) is a talented young design student, who has just joined a college in Los Angeles. Sara is likeable and charming and makes friends easily. She befriends party girl Tracy (Aly Michalka), her dorm-mate, and enters into a relationship with her new boyfriend, Stephen (Cam Gigandet). Sara’s new roommate, Rebecca (Leighton Meester), a wealthy girl from Pasadena, notices the friendly streak in Sara and wants to be friends with her immediately. She does all that she can do for Sara, including showing her around the city and sharing her designer clothes with Sara.
All is well, till one day, Rebecca assaults Tracy for ditching Sara on a previous occasion. She warns Tracy to not be friends with Sara anymore as she wants to be Sara’s only friend. One by one, without Sara knowing it, Rebecca starts sabotaging her relationships. Rebecca also ‘takes care’ of Sara’s other problems – including a stalker ex-boyfriend and a promiscuous professor.
Sara starts to notice that her friends are keeping a distance from her because of Rebecca, but she can do very little because she believes all that Rebecca tells her. On the other hand, Rebecca is so obsessed about gaining Sara’s attention that she even hurts herself to win Sara’s sympathy. Finally, Sara finds out that Rebecca is taking treatment for a psychological disorder of some sort when she visits the palatial home of Rebecca’s parents.
Worried, Sara decides to move out of the dorm and move in at the house of her mentor, successful designer Irene (Danneel Harris). But when Sara reaches Irene’s place, Rebecca is there with Irene bound to the bed. Rebecca is armed with a gun and is adamant that Sara be friends only with her (Rebecca). What happens next? Is Sara able to save Irene and herself from Rebecca? The rest of the film answers these questions.
The Roommate Review – Story & Screenplay
Sonny Mallhi’s story is ordinary and of the kind we have seen on screen many times before. The character of Rebecca is etched out well and her misdeeds keep the audience interested but only upto a point, after which the story gets predictable. The manner in which Rebecca maims Sara’s ex-boyfriend and also kills their pet cat could have been more imaginative. The swift pace of the screenplay, however, manages to keep the viewer engaged. Neither is the script an out-and-out thriller nor does it have the thrill of a horror film. The film will appeal only to a section of the city-based youth.
The Roommate Review – Star Performances
Leighton Meester embodies the psychologically disturbed character of Rebecca very well. Minka Kelly looks good and does a fair job. Cam Gigandet, Aly Michalka, Danneel Harris, Frances Fisher (as Rebecca’s mom), Tomas Arana (as Rebecca’s dad) and Billy Zane (as Professor Roberts) support well.
The Roommate – Direction
Christian E. Christiansen’s direction is fair, though it cannot overcome the mediocre story. John Frizzell’s background score is appropriate. Phil Parmet’s cinematography is eye-pleasing. Editor Randy Bricker could have done with a few more cuts in the first half of the film.
The Last Word
All in all, The Roommate is average fare. The lack of known faces and the ordinary script will lead to the film being a poor show at the Indian box-office.