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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Film Review - 127 Hours


Release: 2010
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: James Franco

Biopic of Aron Ralston, a climber trapped near Moab, Utah. Aron slipped and ended up pinned by a rock, with his arm crushed between the boulder and the rock face. For a long time.
There have been several films since Phonebooth I've noticed where the whole film takes place in more or less one location. Buried being another that springs to mind. Nothing wrong with that, it certainly makes the concept of time feel a bit funny.

I'm a big fan of James Franco. Don't know why, I just am, but he gives a great performance in this. The film is interestingly not just Franco and a rock, but shows how his mind wanders, replaying earlier memories and "what if" situations. Finally it's the sight of a little boy Aron says he knew deep down was the son he was meant to have. Franco really conveys the sense that he HAS to get out of here, and the vision he's just had gives him the perfect motivation beyond simple self preservation. The moment where he has his epiphany how to get out is also very clear without any words or obvious camera and editing work. He's been using a small knife to chip away at the rock, and at one point tries cutting through his arm but realises he'd never be able to cut through the bones in his arm or wrist.

The scene of his revelation and eventual escape are extremely graphic, and I didn't actually watch in the end! After being stuck in that situation for literally days, the relief when he eventually falls onto his back, free, was near euphoric, and this is just watching a film in the comfort of my home. That's when you know you're wrapped up in a film. I was practically cheering him like a marathon runner approaching the finish line as he staggered out of the ravine towards some other walkers.

A very powerful film

7/10

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