By: Bryan Montgomery
Rating: 9 out of 10
For Jim’s Original Review – Click Here
Danny Boyle has brought film viewers to a zombie-overrun apocalyptic future, a dying sun, and India to watch a man rise from dirt to greatness. However, none of the films he has ever made are as impressive as the story told in 127 Hours. This true story of survival is only made better by an incredible job by Boyle and his team conveying this story visually.
Aron Ralston is a thrill-seeker climbing the caves of Utah. While attempting to cross a crevice, he jars loose a boulder that traps his arm. With a low supply of water and food and no one knowing where he is, he is forced to make drastic moves in order to stay alive.
Films that feature one man in a survival scenario only seem to work when they involve Tom Hanks, a product-placed Volleyball and a huge island. Boyle manages to do this with a cave, James Franco and no volleyball. The man works miracles. All kidding aside, the best aspect of this film is the way that it looks and the way that it was shot. All of Boyle’s movies tend to have a great look to them, but the cinematography in 127 Hours is simply out of this world. As you go along with Ralston on his journey, you feel as delusional and malnourished as he does, even if you’re sitting at home munching on a bunch of popcorn.
Many people already know the story of Ralston, and I won’t go into details here but it’s pretty graphic. Going in, a majority of moviegoers thought that it was going to be all about that moment in his life. However, the film as a whole seems to be more about fate, realizing what is behind you as well as in front of you, and cherishing every moment. That is one difficult message to convey through film, but the emotional power of 127 Hours is incredible. You feel like you are taking every step with Ralston throughout his ordeal.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without a great performance by James Franco, which he is able to do with flying colors. Even I was a bit skeptical when he received the best actor nod, but now it is easy to see where it came from. Flawless is a heavy term to throw around when talking about an actor, but Franco comes pretty close.
127 Hours is a must-see film for any drama fans or anyone who has been a fan of Boyle’s last few films. The movie is unsettling, thought-provoking and makes you question to yourself, given Ralston’s situation “Would I do that?” It is something that even puzzles myself almost twelve hours after watching the film. 127 Hours is a great adventure, an even better film, and a survival story that has to be seen to be believed.