127 Hours, by the Academy Award winning director of 2008’s Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle, is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s ordeal in saving himself after his arm is crashed by a falling boulder, trapping him in an isolated slot canyon in Utah. During his ordeal, Ralston remembers everyone he cares for back home and the two hikers he met before the accident. Over five days, or, count with me, 127 Hours, Ralston battles the elements and his own demons to find the courage to free himself.
127 Hours is a visceral story that will take you on a thrilling journey never before experienced and show some of us what we may do when we pick life over death. Boyle gives the audience a groundbreaking first person cinematic experience will draw you in every emotionally-charged second, as Ralston goes from despair to recommitting to life, bringing him to do what any of us would believe impossible. He brings you into the canyon with Aron and doesn’t let you go until Aron himself is free.
I think it was great how Boyle makes it feel as if the audience is Aron himself and you were doing and going through everything as if you were there. When you see this film, you’ll think that you don’t know if you can do what Ralston did or if you’d just die. Hell, I don’t even know if I can do what he did or even last as long; that’s just go to show you how strong-minded and strong-willed Aron was during those five days. I won’t say how he freed himself because that would be spoiling it for those who don’t read a newspaper or watch the news, even though there is a book and it’s a true story. There is something that is best left to the imagination, but what I will say is that all the reports of people fainting, vomiting, and having seizures is fucking true. While I was at the screening of the film, one woman left at one point of the movie, while a man left not only once but fucking twice, the first time with his hand over his mouth getting ready to unload! I mean, if you left once already and you come back for more, you’ve got to have balls to stick it out, but to leave twice, don’t even come back.
You will see Ralston experience a sudden realization of the full value of life in the canyon over those five days. You may even come away from the film feeling the same realization and evaluation of your life. The film gives the idea that he was never alone in the canyon. Physically, he was, but spiritually he was surrounded by everyone he knows and loves.
James Franco is quickly becoming one of this generation’s most original talents. Franco’s acting in this film is of equal importance to what Boyle has done with both actor and director creating a successful duet. Franco fully embraces the character infusing the film with a very unique and amazing performance. Franco was so good that it was as if the real Aron Ralston was in the film himself and was reliving his adventure all over again.
I like that Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara as the two girls Aron meets at the start of his hike are funny and light in their performance, creating a soft and easygoing atmosphere at the beginning of the film Even though their moment with Aron is brief, their moment become important to Aron because they are his last real memories of human contact, of interacting and feeling alive. The scenes with Aaron’s family and friends turned out very beautifully. They have the quality that make you feel Aron’s desperate desire to get back to the world and the people he loves.
The film builds up to a release of the energy that has been building up throughout the movie. After you have been with Aron in his brutally realistic entrapment you can’t help but get this feeling of both escaping death and rejoining the world. This film did not only turn out to be full of great action, but of great beauty.