Wednesday, 12 January 2011

REVIEW: 127 Hours

Fun-bloody-tastic… I have never ever sympathised with a character in a movie as much as I did this time. Danny Boyle’s follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire could not have been more different from its predecessor. 127 Hours is almost like a documentary, mirroring real-life events that happened to Aron Ralston in 2003 in Utah. He is a mountain-climber who got himself trapped by a boulder inside a mountain crack. A little water, some crackers, a blunt knife, digital camera and rope is all he has. No-one knew where he went, no-one could help him. So, after hours of chipping away on the rock, delirium and prolonged conversations with the camera, he decided that 3.5 limbs are better than none.

The entrapment of the story means that James Franco’s face is the only thing you see for the most part of the film and he carries the film away with enviable ease. He is a bit of a modern Renaissance man – acting (after the Spiderman breakthrough more and more independent films), writing (just published a compilation of short stories), studying (at Columbia and NYU) and directing (he is going to make a Cormac McCarthy novel into a film). And easy on the eye too! And he is hosting the Oscars this year. He must have had a terrible childhood or was bullied in school or something, because I just don’t know how karma works otherwise! I hear the hordes of Francophiles growling at me…

So, anyway, the film is a wonderful psychological journey from feeling on top of the world to being reduced to an insect, to redemption and hope. However, if you are at all squeamish do not see this film. Or have a friend who will tell when it’s safe to open your eyes and ears again. Most surprisingly, 127 Hours is full of black humour – to ease the tension I suppose – and the breathtaking, almost Martian scenery of Utah.

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