Sploich Reviews 127 Hours (2010)
Sploich - wrote on 03/06/11
We do a lot of things in life that we later regret. For the most part it's ordering the soup instead of the salad or buying shoes in brown instead of black. Sometimes your choices can change your life, like breaking up with somebody, or for that matter not breaking up with somebody when you had the perfect chance. If there is anybody in the world who knows about regret, it has to be Aron Ralston, the main focus of the biographical film 127 Hours.
Ralston has always been an adventurer, but in 2003 he misjudged himself and his footing and ended up pinned to a Utahn canyon wall via a giant boulder crushing his arm. For five days he was stuck there, living off of very little food and water, suffering the harshness of his new isolated home. He eventually found his way out, leaving behind a great story of endurance as well as a part of himself.
It's about time that James Franco did a movie like this because I have always seen great talent in him. Even in Spider-Man 3, I thought he worked well with the material he was given. Here he plays a very different character than usual. The entire movie's credibility lies on whether or not he gives a great, believable performance and Franco certainly delivers. He is able to portray a man trying his hardest not to lose his cool in a tight situation and keeps you rooting for him to escape throughout the film. I'm really hoping to see Franco take on bigger roles like this in the future because he can definitely hold his own.
Throughout the film Ralston's life flashes before our eyes, showing us his family and friends but never really telling us anything. It would be a nice way of telling the story if Ralston actually had a story to tell before his accident. They try to throw a romance story into the flashbacks but it doesn't really seem to mean anything to the audience. We never see the girl elsewhere and apparently Ralston never rekindled his relationship with her, so other than his character in the movie remembering her for himself, there was no reason to show us that. The movie comes in at ninety-five minutes, leading me to believe the flashbacks are strictly filler.
Danny Boyle is well known for his beautiful cinematography, especially in Slumdog Millionaire, and he uses this amply here. There are several shots of the rocks and the sunlight that help create the atmosphere. The film is able to simultaneously portray a sense of peacefulness and urgency that allows the viewer to be engaged in the story as well as admire the cinematography.
127 Hours is a dramatic, intense film that somehow feels soft and airy at the same time. I'm not entirely sure if Danny Boyle was the right director for this film, but what he does with it is really worth seeing.