Tuesday, January 24, 2012

127 Hours (2011)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
When Aron Ralston (James Franco) sets off into Canyonlands National Park, Utah he neglects to tell anyone where he is going. After a brief meeting with a couple of girls he shows that he is more than capable in the environment.

When returning to collect his bike, he falls through a chasm, bringing with him a heavy rock which falls on his arm, crushing it and trapping him at the same time. He is left with limited food and water and after over 5 days alone, he is forced to make life or death decisions.

Despite the deep tragedy that fell on Aron Ralston's life at the start of those 5 days alone in the wilderness he appears to have grown bigger and stronger from his experience and is now an inspirational speaker whilst still continuing on his favourite outdoor hobbies. He is even credited with the book that this film is based on.

Having read various news stories, it appears that 127 Hours is very close to the truth of what exactly happened despite its obvious embellishments to make it fit for a story on the big screen. The hallucinogenic states of Ralston's mind are made to be as frightening as they are nostalgic and Franco does well under the immense pressure of almost always being the only person on screen.

Of course, as with any film of this nature, the audience is always trying to see how they could handle the situation better but the truth is it is very difficult to see what to change because of the remote location. Director Danny Boyle gets across the true isolation of Ralston by having the contrast between its testosterone-pumped start (which is later revisited in a disturbing scene of desperate will power), and the drawn out middle stint.

127 Hours can feel a bit detracted during some moments because of the flitting between Ralston's past and present and it is left lacking in the true grit of other isolation films (for example, see Buried (2010)). Despite this, 127 Hours is still thoroughly enticing and emotional and therefore, recommended.

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