Well, now I’m never going rock-climbing.
From director Danny Boyle comes this harrowing tale of real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston (James Franco), who literally cuts himself loose from danger — and lives to tell about it when sliding rock pins his forearm under a boulder during a climb in Utah. To stay alive, Ralston resorts to his basest survival instincts.
Back in the day, I remember when this was first getting talked about, and did this ever having me look everywhere I could for this dude they call, Aron Ralston. And from what I read, this guy was basically a bad-ass, that lived by his own ways, and I gotta say, that is pretty cool, but I guess now he kind of regrets that.
The main element of this film is that it literally is about this guy who was stuck in a cave for 5 days, and the film itself is about 94 minutes. Do I hear sleepy time? No, I do not, because Danny Boyle saves this film. He uses his notable trademarks of frenetic camera-work, and beautiful colors, to keep the film going, and I have to say he makes this film very enjoyable. He moves around with that camera all over the place, as many times as he wishes, and keeps us watching. The soundtrack, although it’s much like Slumdog Millionaire’s, still keeps this film moving, especially in a lot of the quicker parts, that really want to keep you excited, and for the most part it works. Basically without him this film, would have practically been a bomb. However, despite this I still felt there were way too many moments where it gets too cinematically contrived. I think Boyle tried to get a little bit too cute and artsy, and try to overcome the real obstacle of this being just a guy in a whole.
The story here is what really keeps this film going. I liked how the story first starts off showing us this daredevil, that lives by his own rules, and practically thinks he is God-like. But gets put into a situation that is either life or death, and tries anyway possible to get out of it, and get back to the ones he loves. In all honesty, I don’t know how I would do in that situation. If it came to practically chopping my own arm off, or dying there, I really don’t know what I would do. Well, first of all, I wouldn’t get in that situation in the first place, and secondly, I probably would just puss out and die. Yes everybody, I may look big and strong, but in reality I’m just a big teddy bear. I hate my life. The story is compelling, and as you watch this guy go through whatever is going through his mind, you start to get a huge glimpse inside the head of what a person would do, and think about, in that situation. I wasn’t crying by the end of this movie by how emotionally attached I was, but I did feel a connection to this character, in the things that were going through his head.
Now, what you have to ask yourself is: are you ready to watch a lot of James Franco’s face. For me, that answer was yes. He is perfectly cast in this role, because he brings a lot of energy to this guy. In the beginning, you kind of see him as this cocky, can-do-no-wrong guy, but by the end you see him as this fun-loving, thoughtful guy that knows what he has done wrong in his life, and it all feels genuine. You really do end up loving this guy by the end of the film, and it’s all thanks to Franco who’s humor keeps us laughing in the rather slow parts, and keeps us emotionally connected, in the more dramatic parts. Oscar Nod? I think so.
Also, must I not forget the amputation scene. Going in, I thought I could handle it, thinking I’m a pretty macho guy, it won’t bother me. However, I was dead wrong. The scene itself is shot, acted, and done perfectly. It feels, and looks so real, and the whole time I was watching, I couldn’t help but move around in my seat, and hold my hands while this was going on. The film definitely leads up to the this scene and it’s perfectly done. Now whenever I clinch my right arm, I just get goosebumps, all thanks to you Mr. Boyle. First you got me with the zombies, and now you get me with the guy in the cave! Your the best!
Consensus: 127 Hours may not seem compelling at first, but Boyle keeps us watching with his amazing direction, that is anchored by an amazing performance from the always reliant James Franco. Just make sure to bring your own hands, as you will be using them to cover your eyes.