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My score 4/5 There are good movies and then there are great movies.
There shouldn't be an epic plot or dozens of well known cast in order
for one to be a great one. But it's a must to be something new and
should have the capacity to explore the deepest human emotions and
ability to inject them directly in to the viewers blood. '127 hours'
has all that packed with adrenalin gushing truly painful 94mts.
The story is very simple and straight forward. Aron Ralston (Played by James Franco Spider Man) who is a mountain climber sets off climbing in Utah with high spirits as usual on a one fine Saturday. But he finds himself to be in a death defying situation soon after he met with an accident and trapped in between boulders with a big rock crushing his arm. Now he faces the challenge of getting out alive before he runs out of supplies and most importantly his state of mind. (This situation which immediately reminds me of the similar Discovery- I shouldn't be alive Episode 'trapped under a boulder'. Though it has some resemblance it's important to know that both of them are true life stories and very unique at some points. Recommended!)
The script is so strong that it will eventually force you to experience what Aron is going though. What kind of pain he must be bearing up and what emotions, hallucinations and memories he eventually gets trapped in. And most importantly what a man will become and can become when he is faced with the greatest challenge of his life. Aron at times looses hope and record himself saying sorry and good bye to his parents on the camcorder he has but on the next moment he mutter to himself 'Do not loose it' and struggle to overcome the situation. James Franco does a breath taking job making this character plain impossible to forget.
Coming from the once Oscar winning director of 'Slumdog Millionaire' Danny Boyle '127 Hours' is not at all a disappointment. Trust me it can be very hard to watch when the real ordeal roll out but if you manage to get though them with one piece of mind then I'm sure you will feel how heroic you are when everything is over.
Cinematographically very challenging to pull off which mostly takes place in a very tight space with most of the close up shots, the job is well done. Time to time it gives you some space when Aron's memories comes alive and the sets take place elsewhere but you are quickly returned to the tight spot abandoning all your craziest hopes of escape.
'127 hours' is not a super hero movie or even a story of a real life hero. It's a story of a person like you and me with ambitions and interests who suddenly finds himself to be in a situation where he has to make real hard decisions to live further. Once the movie finished we all feel glad that he made correct decision even how hard it maybe. And that's something for all of us to keep in mind. The most important decisions in life are not the easiest ones but they will make you live stronger afterwords.
more of my reviews at flickshout.blogspot.com
Ever since we jumped onto the Boyle-Rahman bandwagon 2 years ago with
Slumdog Millionaire, even back then, at least for me, it was hard to
fathom the combined strength of this duo. Which brings me back to an
amazing concept pointed out by Napoleon Hill called the "mastermind
group"....which literally states that the combined mind powers of a
group can generate enough energy and force which is greater than the
individual strengths of any single mind. And this is one work by the
master duo of Boyle and Rahman which establishes a vibrant and dominant
punch,just like Slumdog. The directorial ingenuity of Boyle, added to
the musical grace of Rahman, throws them into the ring of other
brilliant contemporary directors.
A nicely directed film with a prefect plot which reverts close to the actual reality. Sure, Boyle by himself is a maestro in his entirety, and for the heck of it I'm being repetitive here, but Rahman has also always been worth more than his salt, but a killer combination or fusion of the Boyle-ian and Rahman-ian elements generated a power worth more than the common mind could fathom. As far as I was affected, I haven't come across a movie like this which not only grabs you by the throat right into its heart, but dials-up your emotions that you begin to experience something on the likes of anxiety, panic attacks, fear, and all those essential feelings which make it almost impossible for you to stick to your seats and watch with the normal relaxation you would expect. Definitely I would not recommend this movie for the weak-hearted.
But how does the Boyle-Rahman formula actually come into play? Sure, we could have removed Rahman and had still a gripping tale which makes our eyes pop out when we see the challenging and grueling battle against the natural elements of isolation, heat , plus the addition of a dwindling water supply and food supply, which Aron has to play out. But the brilliance of the genius in a director combo is truly evaluated by its ability to hide your mind from the reality - the reality that this is acting and not fact. The true brilliance is felt when it draws you under its covers so much, that you begin to feel the powerful emotions which the main protagonist goes through. So much so, that the viewer is drawn into a totally new "reality", a reality non-existent. In other words, for those few minutes, the mind cannot even realise that none of this is real. I, for starters, during those "gory" moments, found myself unable to keep still, and kept moving around in my seat, wondering how anyone could actually carry that out! Of course, on closer analysis, it's evident that it's not just what is projected on the screen which triggers this adrenalin rush, and makes one register on the emotional richter scale, but also the music eclat which really helps manifest the true plight, emotions, agony, challenge, despair,faced by Aron Ralston, and even more, bring all these beyond the big screen and actually inject these feelings into us! A brilliant job by Rahman........kudos to you!All it takes is your musical genius to give this movie a white-knuckle finish and make us actually "live" it!
A truly daedal killer scheme for direction and music.
Of course, the 127 Hours effect wouldn't be complete without giving true commendation to James Franco's brilliant acting. Thorughout the film, his professional brilliance and dexterous acting never let up which themselves contribute to creating a riveting appeal for the film. This becomes particularly eminent when the climax of the film begins to surface, that is, from the moment Aron gets trapped in the canyon unable to free his arm. The novelty of the portrayal of his flashback memories becomes clear when it becomes hard to decipher exactly the points when Aron drifts from reality into flashback and back. Being part of the audience, it was very difficult for my mind to get a handle on what was reality and what was hallucination. This is the combined work of the direction and cinematography which go hand in hand to create such an effect on the mind that the line between the reality and imagination on the screen gets totally blurred!
I can positively say, beyond the shadow of doubt, that Boyle and Rahman provide a holistic approach towards their own creation or rather genre which helps stir up those emotions that put our minds right in the heart of the film and make us live those powerful moments. And nice work, which has generated enough Oscar buzz that it remains to be seen how well it can compete against the other potential candidates. This is one film which speaks of novelty on all fronts - direction, cinematography, music, and last but not least, star acting!
And if we thought Slumdog Millionaire was gung-ho enough, we now realise that Boyle and Rahman are crossing over towards the pinnacle of their success as a duo.
Aron Ralston is trapped in a canyon in Arizona with his arm wedged
between the canyon wall and a boulder. He has half a bottle of water, a
pair of wire cutters, a video camera, and nobody around to hear him.
considering the hype for this film and the intensity of the premise, I was a little disappointed at the execution. To put it as literally as I can, director Danny Boyle takes a story that is potentially terrifying and he turns it into a music video. It moves too fast and contains disorienting flashbacks, clumsy cuts, over exaggerated music ques, and misuse of split screening. There is little sense of subjectivity or patience to the film. It shows a lack of faith in the attention span of its audience.
James Franco is easily more vibrant than anything in his previous career, but he doesn't embody the character as well as I had hoped. I didn't sense the desperation of the situation in his performance. He plays it quiet when it should be loud, and sometimes vice versa. Another problem with the character is that Boyle cuts around him too much.
As many mistakes as I felt Boyle made, He hasn't yet disappointed me as a photographer. Sunshine, Slumdog Millionaire, and even The Beach (which was slop) were vibrant and well shot. 127 Hours is easily the most vibrant of them all, making effective use of colour temperature, scope, and camera angles. One angle in particular worth noting is the intimacy of being inside Aron's video camera. There is also a memorable moment where we follow a rusty tool as it digs into his bloodstream. This brings me to my next point.
The much discussed arm cutting scene is seriously over hyped. I can name a dozen films that will make you more squeamish. Therefore, if this is the reason you've chosen to avoid 127 Hours then it's the wrong reason. A better reason might be to mark me when I tell you that it's a rather miscalculated experience, good in parts but too shallow and flashy for its own good.
127 HOURS 9.3/10
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
The first film I saw of Danny Boyle's was Slumdog Millionaire and his third was 127 hours. From an ordinary, mainstream and clichéd director, he rose to the status of an extraordinary genius, ring master and a leader in his style of work. It was the brilliance of 127 hours and Trainspotting that led me to understand the master at work in Slumdog. It's a film worthy of discussion, and probably can teach you as much about direction as you would learn from a month long workshop.
The story deals with the real life incident of trekker Aron Ralston , played exceptionally well by James Franco, who fell into a crevice in a remote canyon in Utah as a lose boulder came off and trapped his hand in the process. In my opinion, the subject the film deals with is the hardest to recreate as you are dealing with almost one subject for the entire length of the film, and here is the hardest part your subject is stuck in one place. Boyle manages to do what no other director has dared or achieved to do thus far. Many survival stories have been made, but I remember none being so enigmatic and captivating for the entire duration of the film.
Boyle uses several techniques from triptychs, zooming and split-screens to mash-ups and other beautiful original and inventive techniques. The challenge was to ensure that at no point, the film becomes static as the story had forced the subject to be. Audience attention span is limited and you can often lose them very quickly if nothing much transpires on screen for more than a few minutes. In this case, Boyle absolutely conscious of this fact, at all times, keeps the camera alive. There is almost a sense of desperation in the camera work, which in reality is actually conveying the trapped trekker's desperation.
The film reflects what one could call Boyle's vivid and childlike imagination. In the hands of a serious story teller, this film could become another survival tale meant to pluck at those emotional strings, more suited for a Discovery Channel documentary than an hour and a half commercial relay. Boyle paints the film colorful, capturing every little detail one could possibly capture in a cramped crevice. James Franco, who has managed to raise standards for acting in survival films to a new high, is as much part of the charisma that Boyle creates with his breath-taking camera work. It is to be observed how Franco switches from a tormented trapped trekker unsure of what will happen in the next few hours to a mature, controlled and calm individual in control of the situation. Franco jokes around as though he was on television, and you can see the pain and realization, and the hopefulness lingering on his face and in his voice. Boyle does an excellent job of using, memories, flash-backs and hallucinations to build character and move the film forward.
127 Hours is an achievement, a feat in itself. The very fact that such a difficult story was chosen shows extreme boldness and appetite for new challenges on part of the director. The film is arguably the best survival film I have seen. This proves so much that we don't need a lot of special effects and large budgets or exotic locations to make something worth your money. Three cheers for Danny Boyle!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This must be one of the most overrated movies of the year. I suppose
it's because it's a Danny Boyle movie and he made great movies in the
past such as Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and 28 Days Later
(which I all liked a lot) and this makes him a very cool director and
hence you have to like this movie to be political correct or it might
be because James Franco is hot and happening in Hollywood right now.
It's the best explanation I can give because the movie itself is quite
boring and apart from maybe one scene not really gripping or shocking.
If you're stuck in a cave underground what would you be hearing? Exactly. Nothing at all! But this movie is filled with music and annoying sequences with lots of sound. I know it's supposed to represent his thoughts and mind but it does not work for me at all.
James Franco as best actor nominee? I beg to differ. What does he do? He screams, he twists, he grimaces. He does that well enough but to get a nomination for best actor. Please!
I have to say that technically everything in this movie is very well done. No problems there whatsoever and this is no surprise from a Danny Boyle movie.
This movie's theme reminds me a lot about the novel "Gerald's Game" by Stephen King. I always thought that it'd be impossible to make it into a movie and nobody has tried. I haven't read the book by Aron Ralston but I guess it's the same thing. How do you even try to convey all his thoughts, fears, regrets and physical pains - which must be impossible to comprehend unless you're in the situation yourself - to the viewer? I can't really say but the way this movie does it is not the answer.
If you want a harrowing tale about having your arm being trapped with nobody around to save you while your mind is playing tricks on you then read "Gerald's Game". It stays with you long after you've finished it. If you go to watch this movie you'd be rather bored and forget about it quickly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know the odds for this to happen (one in a million?) but it did
happen in 2003 Aron Ralston on a solo wilderness adventure slipped
and fell into a canyon crevice together with a boulder that pinned his
right lower arm against the stone wall. He was stuck there in the
middle of nowhere for 127 hours and would have died had he not cut off
his lower forearm with a blunt multi-purpose instrument. Danny Boyle
had the guts to make this into a movie which turns out to be at once
excruciatingly painful and fascinatingly absorbing to watch. On one
plain, it's a gruelling experience, even if only through a movie. There
have been reports of people in the audience fainting. On the other
plain, it's fascinating to observe Boyle's skill in telling this story
that is almost impossible to tell.
The prelude is full of zest and life, showing Ralston's chance encounter with two girls sort of lost in their expedition and how he took them to explore a fabulous underground pool. The sequence showed the sunny side of his character outgoing, friendly, witty, confident, perhaps a little reckless accentuating the later ordeal which draws out his gutsy, cool determination. Anyway, they parted cheerfully and he resumed his expedition ..and "Oops" (watch for how this expression is used in the movie).
It's a trying experience to physically empathize with a man trapped immobilized in the middle of nowhere waiting for a slow death. Fortunately or unfortunately, Boyle has done a terrific job in creating that empathy. Even worse is suffering with him the wave after wave of hope and frustration pushing and pulling, scraping the crack, devising a pulley system. Later still, the protagonist went through a transition from imagination to hallucination. In addition to a top-notch director, and even more importantly, it takes a great actor to draw the audience into this agonizing ordeal. James Franco did exactly that, and deserves an Oscar.
What makes the movie work is that the depiction is not all one-sided gloom although the situation seems hopeless. There is one marvellous scene showing the sunlight moving through the crevice in which Ralston is trapped 15 minutes of direct sunlight he get each day. The emotional height the audience experience is almost indescribable. There is also the self-recording video showing Ralston's death-defying sense of humour, and what makes this priceless is that it is real, based on the video he actually took during the ordeal.
As we all know, the story has a happy ending. Despite the physical loss of his hand and lower forearm, Aron Ralston is leading a happy, healthy family life, continues to be an adventurer and helps people by sharing his inspiring experience.
One thought going through his mind in the ordeal however is haunting, something to the effect that "This piece of rock, ever since its formation centuries ago, has been waiting for me since my birth, waiting for this day to end my life" something for the audience to ponder. Is there really a thing called "fate"?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Nothing is more powerful than the will to live. This is what 127 hours
is about. It is a survival tale of a man trapped in an isolated canyon
in Utah when a rock fell and crushed his arm against the boulder walls
and who ultimately made it out 6 days later with sheer determination.
127 hours marks another remarkable feat by Academy Award Winner
director Danny Boyle, best known for his 2008 critically acclaimed
heavyweight Slumdog Millionaire.
The film takes off at a dizzying fast pace with random montages of spectators in large sporting events, people hustling and bustling in their lives, leaky faucets, the film's protagonist Aron Ralston (played to pitch perfection by James Franco) packing in a haste and others in a split screen which initially struck out as erratic but are anything but random as they fall into pieces towards the end. The film wastes no time in diving straight to the plot as twenty minutes into the movie, the action begins when paradoxically Aron becomes entrapped.
The next 127 hours (remaining 74 minutes of screen time) chronicles his deteriorating physical conditions and psyche ranging from denial (this is insane), frustration, longing, acceptance and finally the surge of willpower after having a premonition which prompted him to make the hardest decision he's ever made that led to his survival. Like any good piece of cinematic art, the performance of the actors are central to the integrity of the film. And here, James Franco delivers the most riveting performance of his career that solidified him as an immensely talented and serious actor in Hollywood. The film is essentially a one man show with the supporting cast appearing in early parts of the movie and in his flashbacks but we never get bored with Franco. Every facial expression showed his defeat and waning exhaustion with genuine emotions while his resourcefulness and self parodying moments are huge likability factors. However, it is his epiphanies through the life and death situation in which he came to recall what is important in his life that truly made a connection.
The clever uses of Boyle's signature psychedelic flashbacks and hallucinations are brilliantly interwoven into and seamlessly edited in the film which provided an in-depth character development as well as heightened our senses on Aron's desires. The multiple camera angles are explored and utilized in every possible way to fully capture Aron's predicament yet not make the audience feel claustrophobic although shot in a very narrow and contained space. The cinematography is visually stunning as we get landscape and aerial views of the canyons in its full glory. Its amazing how nature can make us feel so miniscule while we enthrall in its beauty. The CGI effects are outstanding at the torrential storm scene but most importantly, the epic score by A.R Rahman stole the show for me. The dark and urgent pounding of tribal beats and the pull of a string instrument when Aron struck a nerve (literally) is most effective but it is the spiritually uplifting music at the end of the movie when Aron is rescued that conveys the gratuitous feelings of being alive in all of us.
127 hours is extremely emotional, captivating, spectacular, stylistic and story telling at its best. It is a not to be missed movie of the year that stands out above the rest and is in a class of its own.
Incredible film! This has been doing the rounds in a the States and
almost all critics have said that this was either their favourite film
of last year or one of their favourites. Well I'm jumping on the
American critic bandwagon and I'm also saying that 127 Hours has been
noted as a film of the year contender! So early you say, well watch it
first and you'll see what I'm talking about!
It's not just about a man's terrible accident and the situation he finds himself in. No, it's way more than that! I found myself emotionally invested in the film. I experienced a roller-coaster of emotions whilst watching this. Imagine being trapped in a canyon unable to move because your arm is stuck. Then having to make the life or death choice to remove that arm so you can be free.
I have a new found respect for James Franco! The man has come a long since playing James Dean and Harry Osborn from the Spiderman movies. He was absolutely brilliant in this! He's brilliant in every scene! Utterly believable as Aron Rolston! There's a scene where Franco's character video tapes a goodbye message to his folks and thanks them for all the years they spent together as a family. A really touching scene!
Throughout the film we experience his dreams, his past experiences, his nightmares and his hallucinations. It's all part of the journey we are taken on, because of this unfortunate accident. The last 10 mins are the most intense! But at the end you'll either cry, cheer, laugh or smile. That's if you haven't fainted after or during the infamous arm cutting scene.
As for Danny Boyle, I honestly say he's out done himself here. If I'm being honest, I hated Slumdog Millionaire! And it should never have garnered the praise it did. But this is truly a wonderful film and his careful eye for visuals and ear for sound really make this a memorable movie going experience. The soundtrack! The soundtrack by A. R. Rahman is awesome! Expect 127 hours to be nominated for a number of awards this year. Best Actor, Director, Original Soundtrack and Best Film. This should get an extended run in cinemas because of the awards season. I implore you to watch this on the big screen! You will not get the same connection I got with the film if you wait for DVD or Blu-Ray! A truly wonderful cinematic experience! GO SEE THIS NOW!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having seen the trailer for "127 Hours" did not prepare us for the
powerful impact the film had on us, as well as the audience with which
we saw it. Aron Ralston amazing story is one of the most gripping
accounts in memory about an episode that almost killed him. Make no
mistake, this is a difficult film to sit through.
A mountain climbing week-end, and exploration in the breathtaking Utah's Blue John Canyon turns into the biggest ordeal this young man had to endure. What starts as a fun time going through the rugged territory, turns into a nightmare when Aron falls into a narrow passage and a huge rock crashes his hand. Aron is left to fend for himself trying to get himself extricated from the rock that immobilized him.
In spite of the nature of the story, Aron's positive attitude saves him from what would have been a sure death if he would not have been able to get out of the situation. Throughout his ordeal Aron Ralston is even able to reflect on the quality of the tools his mother had given him as a present for his activities. All he asks himself is his wisdom for not taking his reliable Swiss Army knife that must have been his companion in different trips, rather than the Chinese kit he got as a present.
That Aron Ralston was able to tell his story is a document about human survival. This young man showed a courage that speaks volumes. Had he despaired with the blow he received, he certainly would not have been able to find a solution to the situation.
The film is based on Aron Ralston's book "Between a Rock and a Hard Place", adapted for the screen by the director of the film, Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy. The creators take us for a fantastic adventure to witness what it must have been like during those five days and seven hours that Aron almost died. In spite of the type of situation Aron endures, it is not a claustrophobic situation because, in a way, we realize Mr. Ralston had a somewhat bittersweet end in the ordeal he went through. The impressive music score by A.R. Rahman, who had worked with the director previously, adds texture to the narrative. The great camera work by Enrique Chediak and Anthony Dod Mantle, gives a fantastic look to the production.
James Franco is the whole picture. The actor shows his talent by capturing the essence of the man he is impersonating. One feels his anguish, his despair, his hope for survival, and his courage in dealing with a situation that for someone else might have been a tragedy impossible to overcome. Mr. Franco gives the best performance of his career.
Danny Boyle loves to give his audiences bigger than life films. Well, with this one, he clearly outdid himself.
Made around the same time as buried, and clearly a peer in the world of
mis en scene but what does this film really bring to the table. My
rating is harsh because I can't believe how highly it's been rated, I'm
a Danny Boyle fan but as a director he's not really breaking new ground
What is the message? Simply the force of human spirit to survive, who cares we've seen it a million times before, someone prevailing against overwhelming odds. I actually felt compelled to write this review simply because I feel like the whole film is just a document of something horrible that happened to someone and yet what did that person, or us as viewers, learn, leave a note when you're going hiking...
How can people be so amazed by such a simple concept, it's not a bad film and it did to a certain extent bring that experience to life but what's the point really? Answers on a postcard.
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