Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"This rock has been waiting for me my entire life"- 127 Hours

127 Hours is an astonishing and true tale of mountain climber Aron Ralston, and the 127 hours he spent with his arm trapped between a canyon wall and a boulder. Excellently played by James Franco, the film is both horrific and uplifting as it tackles the difficult journey Aron must take to ensure his survival.

There is really not all that much you can say about a movie that spends most of it's time with one character, in one place. Just from that description you can tell that the movie has every opportunity to be boring. Somehow, director Danny Boyle manages keep viewers interested and entertained to the point where we forget that the movie rarely moves from this one spot. When it does move, it jumps expertly between the reality of Aron's situation, to hallucinations that involve past relationships, acts of nature and even glimpses into his future. These jumps are rarely confusing to the viewer, and serves to add variety to Aron's situation. The film also makes great use of sound effects, adding vivid detail to every situation and scene where mere visuals just won't do.

James Franco's resume includes everything from the Academy Award winning "Milk", to guest starring on General Hospital as villain Franco. To call him versatile is an understatement, and he has long since proven himself as an actor. Franco's performance as an adventurous, and sometimes foolhardy climber, is spot on. When his attitude must change to keep surviving, he tackles each issue with enough emotion, and sometimes humor, that he is incredibly believable. The real Aron Ralston has an impressive resume, being the first person to climb all 53 of Colorado's mountains despite his obvious physical deficiency. He also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro six years after his terrible accident. Evidently, Franco filled some very big shoes which is evident by his nomination for Best Actor by the Academy Awards.

The movie is not for the faint at heart. Without ruining the plot, if you know the story of Aron Ralston, you know what he had to do to survive. The film does get incredibly gory and graphic, and there has been multiple reports in the news about film-goers actually passing out.  Indeed, when I saw the film a woman fainted during the graphic scene (although I can't be sure it wasn't for other reasons).

I would definitely recommend this film for those who can stand a little gore but a lot of adventure.


  1. After reading your post I am definetly going to make sure I see this movie. I too thought a movie with one character might be a little boring, but you have changed my mind. It truly is an incredible story and I can't wait to watch it play out in a movie.

  2. This movie just has it all: character development (though just one), sound effects, action, conflict, anticipation - talk about playing on your senses! As Aron tries harder and harder to free himself, I found myself getting equally anxious - the film does a great job of engaging viewers and I also felt a sense of relief when he "frees" himself. Great flick!

  3. Did you know Franco is going to Yale right now and didn't miss his class the morning of the day he was nominated for an academy award for this role.