127 Hours

127 hours is the real life story of canyoneer Aron Ralston (James Franco).  While climbing in Utah, a boulder shifted trapping his arm against the canyon wall.  The movie follows the next 5 days as he tries desperately to remove his arm and stay alive.  Upon the fifth day he amputates his own arm to escape.  When this story broke in 2002 it sweep the nation.  It is such a miraculous story and it was only a matter of time till it was turned into a film.

The film was directed by Danny Boyle, director of Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire.  If you know Boyle’s work you have probably seen Trainspotting.  Cinematically this film is definitely more Trainspotting than Slumdog Millionaire.  The energetic and sporadic nature of the film is very similar to the way Trainspotting was.

My initial concern going into the movie was that i would be bored watching one actor struggle with a rock for 2 hours.  This definitely must have been a concern for the director because there are multiple occasions of flashbacks and thought sequences.  Most of these aid the protagonist’s story line but unfortunately the sequence with Ralston’s ex-girlfriend (Clemence Poesy) does not.  It wasn’t developed enough to bring real value to the story.

Boyle decided to use Slumdog Millionaire Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman for the soundtrack.  The music was distracting and often too overwhelming.

This is definitely Franco’s movie.  His character demonstrated every emotion under the sun in a very real way.  He has already has Oscar buzz surrounding his performance and it is definitely warranted.

Finally, throughout the entire film the audience is knowingly waiting for Ralston to cut off his arm.  There are a few times when Ralston thinks about it and acts on it.  Each one of these times the audience flinches.  When the scene finally comes, the movie doesn’t leave anything to the imagination.  Warning you do see him cut off his arm and it is not easy to watch.  The anticipation and the actual scene is the most squeamish scene I have seen.  Matched with the intense music makes for one terrifyingly vivid scene.

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