Written by: Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
Colour, 93 Minutes
The film itself is a terrific portrayal of a real life situation and shows you a struggle of survival. The story is true indeed and you will often find yourself sympathising with the situation. The very idea of being isolated trapped, and in need of food and water is enough to make you have pity on Ralston. The story may have few cast members and characters and the story mostly revolving around in this one spot, “127 Hours” is a surprisingly solid drama that is worth every minute.
An experienced hiker and climber, Ralston (Franco) is very much in his element when he parks his truck by a mountain near Moab, UT, hops on his bike, and peddles to the middle of nowhere. Later he bumps into two travellers who are lost he jovially shows them a sight that most casual hikers miss before bidding them farewell and continuing on his way. Later, he soon finds himself slipping on a rock and falling down a crevice was his arm, under this rock, becomes wedged.
Over the course of the next 127 hours, Ralston tries everything he can think of to free himself, flashing back to small but memorable events in his life -- as well as forward to the future that he might enjoy should he manage to wiggle free -- as his body begins the slow process of shutting down. Eventually realizing that the only way out is to leave part of him behind, the exhausted, delirious adventurer draws his cheap made-in-China multi-tool, and does what it takes to survive.
James Franco has been in the movies for over a decade now and this is the finest performance he has shown (up to 2010). His name is now becoming more familiar in Hollywood and his performance as Aron Ralston here definitely is Oscar-worthy. During the time of Aron’s entrapment, several things happen and Franco’s terrific portrayals of these situations were fantastic. Some include the fury and anger of trying to push the rock, the insanity build-up of being stranded and eventually realising that he may very well be trapped there and die.
The story itself is very capturing and is one of the best survival stories I have ever heard, if not the best. He is immensely lucky to have survived this and at the point when he must do the deed of ‘leaving a part of himself’ behind. It is quite a gruesome thought to begin with being stuck in this position, but to top it is what he must do to free himself.
I think the reason for not enjoying this film would be the lack of characters and action. That is very much true but for the story it is, you do not expect it go many places. I found that it was entertaining start to finish thanks to the clever editing by Jon Harris, which made things even more interesting. The struggle of survival in the story of our one character is where all the interest is and it creates the desolated and lonely atmosphere of the situation. The editing was slick and original and definitely portrayed Aron’s psychological state well as we see him beginning to lose himself.
Among these thoughts is a premonition he has of having a son and this premonition came true and his son was born in February 2010. Danny Boyle did an excellent job keeping the interest of the viewer in this solid story and this is among his best work, with previous films including “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Trainspotting”.
The story was very authentic and true to what happened except for the part were Ralston shows the two travellers the hidden pool, when in reality he just shown them some basic climbing moves. Besides this, he said that the rest of the scenes were “so factually accurate it is as close to a documentary as you can get and still be a drama." It is a very solid drama and is plenty to keep you enthralled on its 90-minute runtime. The story was authentic, real and with Franco’s great performance it is one of the best of 2010.
My Rating: 8.5/10