[Review] 127 Hours

127 Hours (2010)
Dir: Danny Boyle
James Franco

Last night, in a sold out screening, I watched my first film of 2011:
127 Hours

The viewing experience went very quickly and when the film finished I could barely believe it had been 94 minutes – a stark comparison to how the real Aron Ralston felt about the experience I’m sure.

127 Hours is lean, concise and gritty.

Danny Boyle has certainly made a very efficient film. Within 15 minutes the event has occured and at the end, we don’t get Aron’s life story.

As the film started drawing to a close I had started wondering whether there would be the classic black screen with white text explaining what happened next. Pleasingly, we simply see Aron and his family sitting on a sofa and Aron celebrating after reaching the summit of some snow-capped mountain. That’s all you need to know: eight years later and Aron is a happy man enjoying life.

James Franco’s portrayal of Aron is simultaneously likeable and unlikeable. His, at times, comical remarks about his situation do make you laugh although you can’t stop this niggling voice inside your head which says: “Aron, why didn’t you tell anyone where you are going? Why didn’t you stick to the path?” Hubris, my friends, played its part in Aron’s downfall.

Overall, I think that Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy have created a very succinct screenplay. Via memories and surreal dreams, you see what Aron was experiencing and thinking – and not in a cliche or far-fetched manner. Thumbs up to it though I’m not sure when I will watch it again. Due to the nature of its plot, it’s not a film you want to watch again and again.

PS. About that scene, it definitely isn’t for the faint hearted and quite a few people, though not myself, did have to look away – there was an audible groan while the deed was done.

Image from woodnstone‘s photostream.


5 thoughts on “[Review] 127 Hours

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  1. Great post on what I thought was the best film of the last year. At my screening during TIFF, there was actually a round of applause when that scene ended.

    1. I thought it was a fantastic film. Like I said, I’m glad that we didn’t get Aron’s life story pre and post-accident. I thought James Franco was brilliant; he isn’t ‘Hollywood’ if you know what I mean. He really gets to grips with the role he’s playing and isn’t afraid to play something offbeat. From stoner to Alan Ginsberg to Aron Ralston, he has wide acting capabilities!

      What else did you see at TIFF? Black Swan will be released here at the end of the month and I can’t wait to see it. I’ve got very high expectations!

  2. Having recently read Ralston’s book where he recounts the accident – and other ‘extreme’ adventures he had in his life before that, I totally agree that the film excelled by staying on this one incident.

    As for Franco, I did a podcast back in the fall where we talked about Franco’s body of work, and I sincerely hope that films like HOWL and 127 have allowed him to turn a corner…and that his days of tripe like ANNAPOLIS are behind him.

    TIFF…lordy. What I didn’t see might take up less time. I saw 22 films in 11 days, and some of the highlites included NEVER LET ME GO, I SAW THE DEVIL, L’ILLUSIONISTE, MIRAL, CHICO & RITA, THE TRIP and indeed BLACK SWAN.

    If you wanted to sift through some of my thoughts on the 2010 TIFF experience, you can find it here

  3. Interesting! It’s getting close to bedtime here in the UK so I will check out your blog tomorrow. My jealousy will have to wait until then! 22 films in 11 days, crikey!

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