Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: 127 Hours

Grade: A+

The true story of Aaron Ralston, a mountain climber from Colorado, who decided to go canyoneering one weekend in Utah without telling anyone where he was going. While hiking and climbing through a canyon, he was working his way down into a crevasse when a boulder became dislodged and crushed his arms against the canyon wall, trapping him there, with less than a liter of water and the equipment he had, mostly ropes, a light and a cheap multi-tool. Over the next five days, Ralston examined his life and begins to imagine things due to the condition he’s in, and documents the whole thing on his handheld camera. Finally, he realizes that he has the strength and will to live and decides to take drastic measures in order to free himself from the boulder, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over 8 miles until he finds help.

A truly amazing movie. Everything about this movie is simply amazing. The story is awe inspiring, the writing was great, the direction was great and the performances were fantastic. Danny Boyle (Sunshine, Trainspotting) did an incredible job with 127 Hours, one of his best movies yet. One of the best parts about this movie is that you really get the feeling of claustrophobia that Ralston must have been going through during this situation. He is pinned in a very narrow section of the canyon and Boyle used a lot of tight shots and close-ups to show this and get that feeling across to the audience. He would also do something interesting and mix those claustrophobic shots with wide panoramic shots of the surrounding area, which were beautiful, but showed just how isolated he was. This movie really has a great style and the climactic scene where Ralston cuts his arm off (I’m not spoiling anything, this is why the movie was made) is disturbing but extremely well done.

James Franco (Milk, Pineapple Express) plays the lead, and practically only, role in the movie, Aaron Ralston. Franco keeps proving himself over and over again as one of the greater actors of this generation. His performance as Ralston was spectacular and one of the better performances of his career. He really did a great job showing the torment that Ralston was going through in those 127 hours that he was trapped, showing how Ralston began slipping into insanity, of sorts, while trapped, and of course his performance during the climactic scene and the end of the movie was just amazing. I really hope that he gets some recognition from his performance in this movie because he truly deserves it. The movie also features some performances by Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara, Treat Williams, Clémence Poésy and Kate Burton.

This is one of the must see movies of 2010. As I have said, everything about it is just amazing. It is also one of the best “will to survive” stories I have ever heard. It is great and I recommend that everybody try to get out to see this movie. Yes, the scene where he cuts off his arm is intense and disturbing but it is also brief, so don’t let that stop you from seeing it.

Great quote: “Don’t worry, I’m only a psychopath on weekdays and today is Saturday, so…”

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