Posted on 12/11/10 05:14 AM
The drama 127 Hours is directed by Danny Boyle and starring James Franco, Kate Mara, and Amber Tamblyn. The film takes place in 2003 in Moab, Utah.
Aron Ralston (Franco) is a mountain climber who decides to go to the place in Moab, Utah where he has the whole course memorized for his daily thrill. While bike riding, walking, and running around he meets up with two girls Kristi (Mara) and Megan (Tamblyn) and for a short while the three of them go climbing and swimming and all that crazy stuff. Well after the girls leave he gets himself into quite a predicament. While jumping onto a branch he slips and knocks a rock down which crushes his right arm. Oops. The rest of the film is about hallucinations he is having and flashbacks to his family and an old girlfriend. That's why I don't mountain climb, I just write film reviews so I can't my arm crushed.
The screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle was pretty good. This film could have been equally torturous for the viewer as it was for Aron Ralston but it didn't really drag on for the full length of the film, it flowed nicely. The problem with a true story is that the second you go in there you know how it's going to end so the whole time I was like none of this matters I know what's going to happen. I did not see the need to put the flashbacks of his girlfriend in there because it never led up to anything, it didn't even really help with characterization it just showed that Ralston once had a girlfriend but now he's trapped in a canyon. The dialogue for the whole of the film was very believable, usually when one person is talking to themselves it doesn't work out very well but here it works very nicely.
Danny Boyle had some pretty stylized direction on this one, and it helped keep the film entertaining throughout. Is this film as good as his previous, Slumdog Millionaire? No. Personally I believe Boyle's best film to be Trainspotting which also had a lot of style and I think Boyle is much more comfortable with stylistic films than something which cannot have a stylistic influence upon it. I like how Boyle does films in multiple genres: Slumdog Millionaire-fantasy, Trainspotting-crime, 28 Days Later-horror, Sunshine-science fiction, and 127 Hours-real life drama. All of Boyles directing decisions I think were fine with this film, the only reason I couldn't give it a higher score is because the story is very limited to a guy trapped in a rock and he couldn't really put in any crazy mind games to add another layer of interest.
James Franco easily gave the best performance of his career so far and it would be shocking if he did not receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actor at this year's Academy Awards. Will he win it? I highly doubt it. In the film Aron Ralston is fun, carefree kind of guy who climbs mountains to just to have a good time. When he gets trapped he starts to lose hope and his mind a bit. The part where Franco delivers his best in the film is when he is pretending to interview himself because it just shows how low he has gotten. This is the first time Franco has ever really been in a lead role, I know him mostly for his supporting roles in Spiderman and Pineapple Express, but as a lead man he is very impressive and has a bright career in front of him.
The only real supporting cast in this film was Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn as the two girls Ralston meets before he gets trapped. Both girls did a fine job but nothing really noteworthy. They were basically just average girls who are just following a path for fun. There wasn't really enough acting in the flashbacks to criticize but none of them were bad enough to notice.
Overall I give this film a 7/10, the only reason I couldn't give it higher was because the script was very limiting and I already knew how it would end since it is a famous story. If you like films like Into the Wild or other man vs. nature type films then you would like this one as well. Franco and Boyle both have very bright careers for the future even though they both had very successful careers before this Franco will make his way as a leading man and Boyle will still be one of the best directors of today.