127 Hours (2010)

May 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

James Franco as Aron Ralston in '127 Hours'

Written by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy based on the autobiography by Aron Ralston

Directed by Danny Boyle

Starring James Franco

Danny Boyle is one of the few film makers today that is truly unique. He shoots his films in his own visual style that trumps everything else out there. He somehow moves beyond the fourth wall third party viewer perspective and puts you in the film, making it a visceral, personal experience for every viewer.

James Franco is fantastic in a one man show as real life adventurer Aron Ralston Ralston had a habit of running off for a quickie trek through the wilderness, much to the chagrin of concerned friends and family. He was a skilled and arrogant outdoorsman, until he meets his match in a loose rock as he’s hopping across a cavern. He falls about twenty feet into the crevice and finds himself wedged into the small space by a large rock. As Ralston, Franco runs the gamut of emotions and thespian skills. He’s heart breaking, thrilling, cerebral, emotional, thrilling and -most importantly in a film about a real person with a multifaceted personality in a terrifying situation- HILARIOUS.

About 80 percent of the film is of Franco trapped by the boulder in a space no larger than a bathroom stall, but it’s nonetheless riveting. Boyle and crew find ways to utilize camera angles that make the action in this film more riveting than a tracking shot from Transformers (though to be fair, there is nothing actually riveting about Transformers, just disorienting and monotonous…I digress). There’s something to be said for a film maker that dares to take such a small and personal story and figures out how to make it larger than life while still allowing the viewers the feel a personal connection and experience the events alongside the main character.

Danny Boyle always elevates his game in each successive film, putting his own stamp on over-saturated genres and he does it again with 127 Hours. I hope people give this film a chance. It’ll be the most exhilarating ride you’ll go on at the movies this year.

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