‘Room 0’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Who Are Dr. Galvan And Frank Trentino?


Room 0 is a new science fiction thriller drama film that has been evidently made on a shoestring budget, with director Richard Kodai admitting that it was shot in just five days. Restricted completely to inside a motel room, the film’s plot follows an unnamed woman who decides to work as a mule for a crime gang, only to realize that she is now unexplainably stuck in a time loop. Overall, Room 0 might be entertaining only to those interested in low-budget presentations and is a bit too underwhelming otherwise.

Spoiler Alert

What trouble does the protagonist find herself in?

Room 0 begins on a typical night, with a young woman walking into a local motel room, checking into the dimly lit place all by herself, carrying only a personal bag. The fact that she wears a pair of dark sunglasses in order to hide her identity as much as possible and then closes the blinds immediately after entering the room makes it apparent that the woman does not want to disclose her presence to anyone around. Within the next few minutes, it becomes clear as to what she is up to and why she is trying to hide from the world around her. The young woman, who remains unnamed and is the protagonist of the film, happens to be currently working as a mule for a criminal gang, tasked with delivering a bag to some other client. She is not used to such criminal and dangerous acts in life, though, as she has had no such experience before, but there is a very particular reason for her involvement at present. The woman’s younger sister is suffering from a rare disease that can be treated only with an expensive and complicated medical procedure. In order to help her family afford this procedure and save her sister from certain death, the protagonist has decided to work for the criminal gang only to earn the much-needed money. 

On this particular evening, the protagonist has been told to arrive at the motel room and wait for further instructions that she will receive via a burner phone given to her. She puts the burner phone on charge and then uses her personal device to contact her boyfriend via text message. The boyfriend is also aware of her mission, and it seems likely that it was he who suggested she take up this means to earn money. She also left a voicemail for her mother, apologizing for not keeping in touch in the last few days and stating that she has been busy with some work. It is clear that nobody other than her boyfriend is aware of the criminal job that she has undertaken. Soon, she receives a call on the burner phone, informing her about the next step in her mission, which is to receive a package that will be delivered to her in about five minutes’ time and then take it to a different address. As per the plan, there is a knock on the door, and the protagonist is handed a bag, which basically contains the contraband that she has to deliver.

The man who makes the handover tells the woman to keep the item, a certain box, carefully since the outer protective cover has been damaged and, therefore, had to be removed. The box itself does not reveal much about itself, as it has some mysterious symbols on the different sides, and the protagonist decides not to look much into it at all. Leaving the box by itself and treating it only as a package that she needs to deliver, the woman goes on to text her boyfriend but mistakenly drops the box and triggers it. The exact result of this accident becomes clear a few minutes later when the woman leaves the room in order to make the delivery but then finds herself arriving at the exact same motel room with the box already in her possession this time. The next few times that she tries to leave the room, the same repetition occurs, with the woman constantly finding herself arriving at the same motel room. Thus, it becomes very clear to her that she is now stuck in a time loop, and the mysterious box in her possession is to blame for it. 

Who is Dr. Galvan, and why does he help the protagonist?

Eventually, the protagonist receives a call on the motel telephone, and the person on the other side of the line introduces himself as Dr. Galvan, a scientist working for a tech company called DynaCorp Technologies. Galvan somewhat clears the mystery surrounding the time-altering box, for Room 0 is self-admittedly not interested in explaining it completely. The box is actually a product of a long-running experiment by the tech firm, intended to control time and create time loops that can technically imprison people in a very indirect and unlawful manner. Seeing great potential in this technological device, the American government invested in DynaCorp, and therefore, the project became a great success, even though it is still kept under wraps. Dr. Galvan and Dr. Farkish were the two lead scientists in the project, and they were the only ones aware of the technology, having invented the time-altering box. 

Over the years, Dr. Galvan had also become aware that his colleague and partner in the project, Farkish, had grown a corrupt mentality, and thus, when the box went missing from the DynaCorp office after a vicious gang attack at the place, Galvan guessed where it would be. Because of his hunch that such a powerful device could fall into the wrong hands, the scientist had also fitted a tracker on it, and with the help of it, he was now aware of exactly where the time-altering box was. Galvan is also intelligent enough to have guessed that a mule must be in possession of the box at the time, and so he calls up the protagonist in the hotel room, knowing exactly what her role in the theft and smuggling operation is. He is naturally aware of the extent of the great danger that the box poses to anyone in possession of it, as well as those around it. The scientist decides to help the protagonist out, making her aware of the exact occurrences in her life and then also telling her how to control them.

So far in Room 0, the time reset in the protagonist’s life is occurring randomly, mostly whenever she is trying to leave the motel to go somewhere else. As a result, she was completely clueless as to how to get out of the loop or even temporarily help her situation and progress in time. Now, with the help of Dr. Galvan, she learns how to control the time reset, figuring out that she could largely do it at her own convenience. This soon leads to her being able to leave the motel room and go shopping, and as she learns how to store items and possessions from the previous iteration to use in the next one, she is able to have a better time. She gets hold of food and other consumables while also sneaking in protective gear into the next iterations, which ensures that she is finally ready for the great fight that is about to come her way.

Who is Frank Trentino?

While the angle of the mysterious time-altering box is solved, the other side of the dilemma, which is the criminal gang and their desire to own the box, is also further explained throughout the film. It is revealed that the other scientist in the program, Dr. Farkish, wanted to sell off the device he had co-invented since any criminal gang would pay great money for it. Farkish got in touch with a gangster named Luis, who had been struggling in his personal life because of his son’s heavy debts that the latter had to pay off because of his wrong lifestyle choices. Eventually, the son landed himself in a great deal of trouble with a feared mafia boss known as The Baron, and Luis naturally had to step into the matter. Luis decided to steal the time-altering box from the DynaCorp office and directly sell it to the Baron, which would pay off his son’s debts and would also probably earn him some money as well.

However, the problem was that Luis was in partnership with another criminal named Frank Trentino, who was also a feared man in the streets because of his vicious and violent ways. Luis did not inform Frank about what he was about to do, and he directly dealt with The Baron, intending to keep Trentino out of the whole deal. Since he needed to keep his partner in the dark about the deal, Luis could not use any of his usual henchmen to oversee the handover, and so he had to hire an external worker to collect the box and then take it over to the baron’s men. This external worker had to be a simple mule who would know nothing about the goods and whose life was of no importance to any of the criminals. Indeed, the protagonist of Room 0 was chosen as this very mule, and her life is very much expendable.

On the evening of the handover, only a few minutes before the woman checked in at the motel room, a criminal raid had been conducted on the DynaCorp office, in which the device was successfully stolen. Luis sent his men to the motel to hand over the device to the protagonist, but in this while, Frank had gotten to know about the plan in the works behind his back. The criminal was unwilling to let it slide, and after killing his partner, Luis, he now gets in touch with the protagonist and threatens her to hand over the time-altering box. In a strange and unexplained twist, Frank Trentino also gets stuck in the same time loop as the protagonist, possibly because he was one of the people who had directly gotten hold of the device during the raid. Thus, Frank is also able to remember information from the previous iterations, and more importantly, he gets to know what the protagonist is up to and how she intends to keep the device with herself and destroy it, as per the instructions of Dr. Galvan. 

What happens to the protagonist woman?

Intending to get hold of the box for himself, Frank Trentino keeps sending men to the hotel room to kill the protagonist and steal the box. However, as she manages to keep herself safe by using the time reset in the most helpful situations, Frank gets irritated by the situation, and he finally decides to take an indirect route. The gangster finds out more about the protagonist, eventually getting to know about her sister, who is suffering from a rare disease and using his resources to find out the identities of the younger sister and the mother. He uses this information to convince the protagonist to finally give up the box, threatening to hurt her family otherwise, and she does agree.

During the first meeting between the two sides, both the protagonist and Frank bring along some company, with the boyfriend accompanying the former and the criminal goons going with the latter. This meeting goes sideways, as the boyfriend is killed, but the protagonist is not much perturbed by the incident. It is very evident that the boyfriend did not hold the same importance to her as her family members, whom she is desperate to save. Despite Frank’s suspiciously friendly claims, the protagonist figures out that the gangster will kill her, and so her only option is to kill the man first.

During Room 0‘s ending, the protagonist finds out the exact location of Frank Trentino and then goes out to kill him. Since the gangster would not expect such a bold step from her, using this element of surprise is her only advantage, and therefore, she remains determined not to use the time reset. In the end, she is able to successfully kill Frank Trentino and ensure the safety of her family and herself, even though she does get injured in the battle. The protagonist rushes to the hospital to get her wounds treated, while the mysterious time-altering box is still present inside her motel room, perhaps suggesting that she would sell it off and use the money for her sister’s treatment.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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