127 Hours (2010)
Dir: Danny Boyle
Starring: James Franco
Last night, in a sold out screening, I watched my first film of 2011:
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.