Room Taken Image

Room Taken

By Bobby LePire | April 10, 2024

Room Taken, a compelling 18-minute drama, unfolds under the masterful direction of Tj O’Grady Peyton and the pen of Michael Whelan. The story revolves around Isaac (Gabriel Adewusi), an unhoused immigrant in Ireland. One fateful night, Isaac’s life takes an unexpected turn when a blind lady, Victoria (Brid Brenan), leaves her bag at the same cafe he’s at.

Isaac catches up to her to return the bag just as she steps inside her house. Victoria is pleased at the hospitality shown by Isaac, but before she can finish properly thanking him, she receives a phone call. He yells out goodbye, but instead of leaving, Isaac sneaks up the stairs and stows away in an unused room. Can Isaac stay hidden from Victoria, or will the sounds he makes give him away?

“…instead of leaving, Isaac sneaks up the stairs and stows away in an unused room.”

Room Taken, a seemingly simple yet emotionally profound narrative, delves deep into the lives of its characters. Isaac’s circumstances, portrayed with stark realism, evoke a sense of empathy as his actions are driven by desperation rather than malice. Victoria, a once-sighted woman grappling with the profound loss of her husband and her sight, adds a layer of complexity that resonates with the audience. The film’s focus on these two intricately developed characters is a testament to the filmmakers’ skill in crafting a deeply human story.

The directing is subtle but effective. A particular scene where Isaac sneaks up the stairs is breathless, as audiences really cares for Isaac. Adewusi is affable, creating a well-meaning but down on his luck character. Brenan is heartbreakingly sweet yet sad. The two are great, and the odd bond that grows between them is entirely believable.

Room Taken is a sweet, timely tale with the perfect ending. The two leads are excellent, and the direction wrings out effective tension. The film’s ending, which I won’t spoil, is a satisfying culmination of the characters’ journeys. It is a subtle but impactful short that is worth watching.

Room Taken (2024)

Directed: Tj O'Grady Peyton

Written: Michael Whelan

Starring: Gabriel Adewusi, Brid Brenan, etc.

Movie score: 9.5/10

Room Taken Image

"…sweet, timely..."

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