“The Immaculate Room” doesn’t quite fulfill our expectations and feels rather flawed in a real way. It does make us want things to go more intensely than they do. However, by the end of the film, one might just end up with the thought that maybe what happened makes sense, and it is what would have happened in real life, too (if Immaculate Room existed). It is not nearly what the room offers, but what it doesn’t offer that adds to the plot. Nothingness can affect the mind in unexpected ways. After all, the room does echo the saying that an idle or “empty” mind is a devil’s workshop. And the devil isn’t the devil here; it is the mind that becomes the devil, forming negative thoughts, doubts, and other negative emotions. The immaculate room has been built to test the limits of the human mind.
What Happens In ‘The Immaculate Room’ Film?
Michael and Katherine participate in a program where they have to spend 50 days in the immaculate room to win $5 million. The room only offers the bare essentials: a double bed, a bathroom, and thrice-a-day meals. If one person decides to quit, the prize money will drop to $1 million for the person who stays. They can opt for treats, but it will cost them a particular amount that will be deducted from the prize money.
The first few days passed by steadily. Michael jogs to pass the time while Katherine meditates. They chat, lie down, take a bath, and wait for the time to pass. Michael tells Katherine about the guy who made the immaculate room, Professor Voyan, who, according to him, is intrigued by the human condition. One day, Michael tries to feed an insect, but he is instructed by the “immaculate” voice that food is only for the contestants. This is followed by a heated debate between Michael, who is a vegan, and Katherine, who isn’t. One day, they find a gun in the bathroom, which they decide to shove under the bed. On another day, Michael is bored and decides to have a treat. He gets a crayon, which he draws on the walls of the wall. They also receive messages from their loved ones that affect them. Then, when Michael opts for his second treat, a woman, Simone, arrives. She then befriends Michael, although Katherine doesn’t like it at all and maintains a distance. Will Michael and Katherine be able to survive the Immaculate Room and its nothingness? Or will the nothingness engulf them?
White: The Absence of Color
The word “immaculate” means neat and tidy. And so does the color white. When something is white, we consider it clean. The immaculate room is certainly white, neat, and tidy. However, for Michael, white is the absence of color, which is also true. And his first treat, i.e., a crayon, works for him as he tries to fill the white walls with color. But there’s more to this act of his. He spent 100,000 dollars on a green crayon. It is not a crayon he is buying with the money. He is buying it because he can do with it what he is buying; the crayon has allowed him to give himself a treat by means of drawing. That is an expression of the mind, a mind that is bored with nothing to do at all. It only shows how much not doing anything can make the mind crave doing something. Not doing anything can be relaxing only when we control it; otherwise, not doing anything becomes a prison. And the immaculate room is just that, and perhaps it was made with the intention to find out the extent to which humans can endure forced boredom with money, something that apparently is the greatest source of happiness, as an incentive.
There is another suggestion. As more colors add themselves to the room, in the form of a revolver, blood, a nude woman, and finally ecstasy, things get more complicated. Whereas when Katherine and Michael came into the room, it was completely white, and everything was going well. So in this way, it can be said that while white keeps everything normal, colors bring in change. And change is inevitable. And the treats are what bring in the change in the immaculate room. Now, it is up to the participants, namely Michael and Katherine, to test their limits and find out how long they can resist the need for change.
Michael’s first treat is a crayon. He then gets a woman as a treat. On the other hand, Katherine gets ecstasy. It seems that each treatment is supposed to coerce them to give in to their desires. Michael loves to draw and knows about art. Simone walks in the nude as his second treat, which, although not eatable, does imply the sexual connotation associated with the word “treat,”; as in Michael can have “fun” with her. In the same way, Katherine getting ecstasy can have two meanings. Either she used to do drugs earlier but had come out of it, thanks to her meditation that she might have learned during her therapy sessions. Or, she has been provided with it to lure her meditative spirit out of its boundaries and take a bite of the “forbidden fruit.” For both Michael and Katherine, the treats are what serve as the objects that bring out the raw humanity in them. It is what eventually makes Katherine doubt Michael about sleeping with Simone, who apparently looks like Michael’s ex-girlfriend Olivia, which ultimately results in Michael leaving the immaculate room, hurt and alone.
‘The Immaculate Room’ Ending Explained: Do Michael And Katherine Win The Money?
For some reason, Michael tries to convince Katherine that risking their sanity for the money isn’t worth it. This, however, is countered by Katherine, who tells him that the only reason he can say it is because he has seen money all his life. Michael is a rich guy with a rich father. Katherine, on the other hand, grew up watching her father waste her childhood and their home on alcohol. And she is in no way going to give up the prize money. Now, as an audience, some of us may agree with Michael, while others may agree with Katherine; both are facts of life and can be subjected to judgment from the opposite side. But given the fact that Katherine pulls the revolver at Michael when he decides to leave, it becomes clear that the immaculate room has been able to create a barrier between the two. Something has been born out of nothing.
Not to highball things and overstate, but there is only one being that can create something out of nothing, and that is God. Is then the immaculate room a symbol of God? God gives us “treats” to express ourselves, much like the way the room offered treats to Michael and Katherine. And history has proven that expression will always meet rebellion. And Katherine pulling the gun on Michael, tells the same tale.
The film doesn’t show if Katherine gives up and presses the quit button. However, at the very end of the film, we see her come out of what seems to be a facility where her addicted father is being taken care of. She meets Michael, and they walk toward her car. A plaque outside the facility’s gate tells us that its new kitchen “was made possible by an anonymous donor.” It means that Katherine did win the prize money but donated most of it, if not all. So, neither of them has the money, but they do come out of the immaculate room with the realization that money isn’t going to fix their broken parts, but only they can. The film ends with a new couple, Sandy Williams and Jason Wright, entering the immaculate room. The final words in the film are uttered by Sandy, who says with a smile, “This is going to change everything.” And we know that it surely will.
“The Immaculate Room” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Mukunda Michael Dewil.