It’s rare that a film comes along that can really shake your core, that hits every note so pitch perfect that you feel enlightened having seen it. I’ve only had this experience a few times in my long life of love for film. While I have enjoyed and even loved more films than I can even name, there are only a few that I think have the ability to provoke change. 127 Hours is one of these select few films. It makes you think of the obstacles in your own life and how you chose to overcome them. While most have never been in the life changing position that Aron Ralston found himself in, hell I can’t think of one, the story is still completely relatable. I would find it hard to believe that anyone could walk out of this film not thinking about what they would do in the same position.
127 Hours follows Aron Ralston on his life changing tale of survival. In April 2003 Aron set out to concur Blue John Canyon, during this endeavor he dislodges a rock and becomes trapped with his forearm caught between the rock and the canyon wall. Aron screams for the help of his fellow hikers but, his cries go unheard. This would prove to be the last chance Aron would have for any help to come as he didn’t tell anyone where he was going that day. While he went out looking for adventure Aron had no clue that he would be going on the greatest adventure of his life. A five day struggle to survive; one that would change his life forever.
If you don’t know the story of Aron Ralston or haven’t heard the studio hype behind the infamous amputation scene then I’m not sure where you’ve been (I refuse to make the obvious pun). If you’re thinking right now that I’m giving something away I have to say in my defense that knowing it was coming only added to my enjoyment of the film. I’m not sure if that makes me a sick bastard or not but knowing it was around the corner put me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. The kind of anticipation most would find in an action packed summer blockbuster.
This is mostly due to the fast paced direction of Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire). I can’t think of many directors that can take a hour and a half film about a guy looking at a rock and make it feel like the latest Jason Statham flick. His fast paced visual style had my adrenaline running and my heart racing as I waited to see what Aron would do next. While Boyle did make the film visually breath taking it’s James Franco that deserves all the credit.
The one man show that is 127 Hours just shows how much talent Franco really has. While I’ve always been a fan of all his work I always knew that he was waiting for the right role to really shine. Aron Ralston is that role. The challenge alone is remarkable, show an audience everything your thinking and feeling and do it all with just your expression. If Franco fails the movie fails. Even if he gives a good performance the film would still suffer. So to say that 127 Hours one of my favorite films this year tells you how good Franco is in it. After 127 Hours I don’t think there is much he can’t do. The amount of emotion that he can emote with his eyes alone is remarkable and I will be shocked if it doesn’t win him an Oscar.
To say this film moved me would be an understatement. It is one of the most powerful films of all time, never before have I run such a wide range of emotions in an hour and a half. The events that Aron experienced during those five days changed his life forever, sharing in the experience via film only makes you think about decisions you have made in your own. That’s what makes it so special while hearing about the story alone is inspirational. The fact that Boyle and Franco have made a film that puts you as close as you can get sans being there still astounds me. To say that you need to see this film is an understatement and not just if you are into the art of film, this is a movie that must been seen by everyone.
I give 127 Hours 5 “inflatable Scooby Doos” out of 5.
by Ryan Davis