Rating: 7.3/10 - Very Good
This is a slick, demanding film. It's well-directed and features probably James Franco's best role yet. Not everyone will enjoy seeing him suffer, as opposed to being drunk, ditzy or high, but he uses his role in 127 Hours to aplomb.
Director: Danny Boyle. Screenplay: Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy. Based on the book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston by Producer: Christian Colson, John Smithson and Danny Boyle. Executive Producers: Sherryl Clark and Guy Riedel. Cinematographry: Anthony Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak.Editing: Jon Harris. Music: A.R. Rahman. Studio: Film4 and HandMade Films. Distributor: Pathe. Starring: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara and Clemence Poesy. Age Restriction: 18. Running Time: 94 Minutes.
Danny Boyle has been one of my favourite directors for years because he makes films that are original but all follow a trend of inspiring a person. Slumdog Millionaire was a bit too schmaltzy for me but it is clear that Boyle is a keen storyteller who portrays characters who often face difficult odds.
127 Hours tells the story of 28-year-old Aron Ralston, who in May 2003, during a day of solo canyon-hopping in Utah, found himself trapped in a crevice with a giant boulder pinning his arm to a wall. How he reacts to his predicament is thrilling.
Yes, it's a graphic film. It is this realism which makes it so entertaining. Apparently, some film goers in the US passed out while watching this movie. This indicates how good it actually is. It evokes real feelings in viewers.
It is also a good film because Boyle manages to film within a rock crevice. Many of his angles and shots would have been difficult to film.
The movie does drag at times. The editing is good but it could have been better. It is difficult to watch the same person in the same position for about an hour.
However, I must credit everyone involved in what tries to be an original film. With current technology, films can have stronger messages for our senses. 127 Hours manages to barrage our ears, eyes and even our stomachs.
It does invite the viewer to think about the value of life, and is not overly patronising. Even though Franco acts well, he does come across as a bit of an idiot too often.
Verdict: A sharp, harrowing film worth watching. If you buy into the main characters' struggle, you may be inspired. It makes sense that the London Olympic Committee chose Boyle to be its artistic director for the games' opening ceremony.
127 Hours is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.