Published on Rushes Online (January 2011)
Based on the traumatic 2003 events of American mountain climber and public speaker Aron Lee Ralston, Danny Boyle’s 2010 biographical adventure 127 Hours opens cinema lovers to an all new genre of movie watching, showing one man’s struggle for survival, as well as being taught a whole new meaning to life.
Directed by Slumdog Millionaire’s Danny Boyle, 127 Hours sees Boyle back to basics, captivating audiences for the pure detail he reveals on-screen, rather than the scale. Starring stand alone star James Franco, as Aron Ralston, the film follows the climber’s re-enactment of the events leading up to and during his struggle to stay alive, when he becomes trapped by a boulder at an outlaw hideout in South-Eastern Utah, America.
With the focus solely on Franco for what soon becomes the majority of the film, with the exception of a few unknowns, 127 Hours consists of nothing more than a face speaking into a video camera. Isolated from the rest of the world entirely, audiences experience the emotions, despair and pain Franco portrays in perfect form, connecting deeply with his task to stay sane through his five-day ordeal.
Played out as a video log mixed with the use of some clever flashbacks to help Ralston’s ordeal become easier, 127 Hours is not just another movie. It brings across a mixture of emotions, thoughts, and a meaning to life that occurs on an endless cycle everyday. Decisions and actions are all made for a reason which is yet to happen, and Boyle’s interpretation of this is presented perfectly on-screen, without missing a single pinpoint in detail.
What takes us into not only the physical state, but the mental state of Ralston, the playing out of hallucinations, and simple acting technique’s all give audiences the change to indulge further with this sole character, bringing the words claustrophobic and isolation to an all new level, as well as allowing us all to realise how even the simplistic factors of everyday life are taken for granted when needed the most.
Acclaimed as being “One of the best films of the decade,” Danny Boyle’s early 2011 picture is sure to give those set to follow in the next few months a run for their money. Unsure what to expect from the outset, this latest picture really is something that needs to be watched to be fully understood. Prepare for everything any film can offer, and 127 Hours will soon be playing in front of your eyes before the month is out.