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Friday, 5 November 2010

127 Hours (2010)

"A must see"

Gripping, intense, and emotional would probably be the three best adjectives to describe Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. I'll admit that when I first heard the news that someone had a literal panic attack during the screening at Telluride, I was super excited to see it, as it could only have meant that the film was truly genuine and amazing. My assumptions were correct, as Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy (who also wrote the Slumdog Millionaire script with the director) put together another great film, this time with the challenge of one actor on screen for the entire movie. For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, 127 Hours tells the story of real life climber Aron Ralston (Franco) and his struggle to survive after his arm gets trapped under a boulder while mountaineering near Moab, Utah.

Going into a film like this, one would wonder how a movie with one actor and essentially one filming location could entertain an audience for about 90 minutes. Well, Danny Boyle did an excellent job of keeping people glued to the screen without taking away from the film and boring audience members. With his funky style of directing, amazing camera shots, as well as his ability to bring so much information and life into a one man show, Boyle tackled this daunting task beautifully. The directors uses of Ralston's fantasies, hallucinations, comedic relief, and the character's will to live all helped keep audience members interested, and wondering how and when this man would survive such an catastrophe.

Now to the leading man of the film, James Franco. I will admit, before this film I had never seen Franco give an awe-inspiring performance in any film really, but 127 Hours was his calling card. People should take notice, because this guy can really hold his own both on screen and off. Franco gave a fantastic performance in this one, and really made the character of Aron Ralston believable to the audience (which is what good actors do). He played the role seriously, but also gave the audience the much needed comedic relief, evening out the intensity of the film with a little bit of good humor. This isn't an easy role to portray for any actor, and it seemed as though Franco tackled it with ease, playing a disgruntled and challenging Ralston, and the different moods and emotions he feels while being trapped.

I would be insane not to give credit to both Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle for writing another excellent screenplay. Unlike their previous film, Slumdog Millionaire, which was an excellent screenplay, this one stands out more simply because of the limitations they had when writing it. Essentially, it was a dialogue prepared for one man to speak to himself for about 80 minutes, mostly through his hand-held video camera.

This movie is getting the granny apple A it deserves; the combination of great directing, writing, and an amazing performance by James Franco, truly make this film a remarkable one. The ability to overcome challenges and limitations, like Boyle did in this film, is what I believe separates the great directors from the good ones. Furthermore, the pace, intensity, suspense, and even Boyle's added humor, all add to the amalgamation of this films success. The films funkiness, brilliance, and realism faze out the idea that there is only one actor on screen sitting in the same location for almost the entirety of the film. The real life Aron Ralston summed the film up perfectly during the emotional Q&A session at the end of the film saying "Humans have no idea of their true potential or what the are capable of, given the situation they're in."

1 comment:

  1. I'm itching to see this. I was kind of pissed when I first saw the trailer, because its kind of similar to a screenplay I've been working on =/
    whatever, I'll support good movies whenever I can