Danny Boyle has finally achieved the full greatness of his own visual strenght and the emotional rawness that has always been evident his work as a director.
His 28 Days Later was groundbreaking cinema in a terms of horror-genre, and his brilliant Sunshine is by far one of the greatest and puzzling Sci-Fi-films ever made. This time he tells us a highly touching and amazing true-story of a mountain climber Aron Ralston.
This film's strenght lies in it's extremely risky and admirable approach to it's subject matter, which is that it is mainly focused on a one man's battle against impossible situation. There are no pointless sideplots here. Just man against nature and it's cruelty.
In April 2003, Aron Ralston was hiking at Blue John Canyon, near Moab, Utah. Things got horribly out of control when boulder got dislodged and crushed his right arm and pinned it against canyon wall. This film is a close study of what happened afterwards and what happened to Aron in that canyon during those painful 127-hours.
Boyle and his team succeeds perfectly to capture all the horrors and despair of that situation, and so does the fantastic James Franco as a Aron.
Franco's performance is very good. He really seem to live his role more than just act it. basically the whole film lies on his shoulder and he succeeds to carry it easily. We live through his grief, anger and desperate struggle for life.
Credit must also be given to the spectacular cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak. Their breathtaking use of ultra close-ups and the way they capture the canyons are pure visual feast. A.R. Rahman's dynamic musical score is also something to behold and Jon Harris keeps the editing perfectly tight.
Along with Rahman's score there are also outright fantastic choices with soundtrack as always in Boyle's films. One of the films most oddly uplifting and genius moments comes in a scene where Aron struggles with boulder while Bill Wither's lovely day is playing on a soundtrack.
I have always admired filmmakers that are willing to take risks and Danny Boyle is that kind of artist. He is clearly willing to push the boundaries of traditional cinema and go into the directions that others would not. With 127 Hours he has achieved his most mature, balanced and touching film to date.