Academy Award winner, Danny Boyle, follows up last years Oscar winning Slumdog Millionare with a limited release film entitled 127 Hours. It’s already been out for a couple weeks and is slowly starting to gather attention for it’s brilliance in artistry. Though it has been coasting under the radar at the box office, this film is sure to gain a wide audience as word gets out.
127 Hours is the true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco) and his five day brush with life. Aron is a mountain climber and adventure junky with a passion for the freedom of the outdoors. When Aron takes a weekend off and runs out the door for a new adventure, he has no idea about the trying circumstances that he’s about to face. Going out into the wilderness on his own, without telling anyone where he is going, Aron finds himself trapped when a bolder falls on his hand and pins him to the canyon wall. Isolated and injured, Aron must cope with his injuries, the elements, hunger, dehydration, and insanity if he’s going to make it out alive. 127 Hours is the story of his amazing adventure and remarkable survival.
This movie is extremely rich and compelling. Knowing that this is a true story definitely helps relate the seriousness of what is taking place on the screen. Several movies have attempted to convey a story about isolation and they tend to struggle with finding enough intrigue to actually keep an audience interested. Danny Boyle gives us enough of the back story interspersed with the focus of Aron’s survival to keep the viewer interested and invested in the development of the events.
You can never really prepare yourself for one of Danny Boyle’s films. No matter what you think you’re going to get, he is sure to surprise you. Boyle’s remarkable ability to tell a story is showcased through several different avenues of cinematography, sound, and dialogue. The premise seems fairly straight forward and simple, but when Boyle combines all the layers of his immense artistry, the movie comes together to become an astounding feature. 127 Hours if very much an abstract piece, with some completely unique techniques, but every aspect of this film drives home the theme of survival with excellent precision.
James Franco does an incredible job at handling this movie on his own considering his closest co-stars were a rock and a camcorder. The subtle nuances he adds to the character really bring the authenticity this story needed to connect with the viewer. Franco’s role is extremely touching and will grab your heartstrings.
This is one of those films that you are guaranteed to walk away from provoked emotionally. There is no way to sit through the film and not experience what Aron endured as he struggled to survive for five days. With that said, however, I must warn you that this film is extremely graphic in depicting the extent that Aron was willing to go to survive. Though I found the disposition of the film helpful in experiencing the true nature of perseverance, many will be repulsed by the visual images and audible sounds of the gruesome events. Still, I think this film is well worth the value offered in that it drives home the point of courage and the lengths people will go to survive.
I give this film 5 out of 5 stars. This is well worth a 5 hour drive to NYC.
This film is rated R for language and disturbing violent and bloody images.
This film is in theaters, but temporarily at a limited release.