Friday, February 11, 2011


James Franco, Treat Williams, Kate Burton
Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn

"There is no force more powerful than the will to live"

Cinema 2, Shang Cineplex

This latest film from Danny Boyle, the director of "Slumdog Millionaire" is an adaptation of Aron Ralston's autobiography entitled "Between a Rock and a Hard Place". Aron Ralston (James Franco) is a young, carefree guy who likes to live life to the fullest edge.

In 2003, the experienced mountain climber decided to go canyoning in Utah without telling a soul. He accidentally slipped into a lonely crack in the canyon and gets his arm pinned by a giant boulder. 127 Hours documents the time between Ralston finding himself in this unenviable situation and ultimately freeing himself in a bloody and very drastic manner.

It is entirely possible that this very sticky situation could have been avoided if he had told someone about his whereabouts on that very ordinary day. Yet he strikes me as a fellow who knows no boundaries so he basically will live his life as he pleases. Case in point, he never answers any of his mother's calls and lets the answering machine eat up her messages.

So there he is stuck in a very delicate position wondering how he can free himself while chipping away at the boulder with a very useless piece of Made in China knife and wondering when he is going to die all alone without anyone knowing where he is. Sad, really.

So as he ponders during this 127 period of isolation, grainy flashbacks and glimpses of his existence are shown through hallucinations he experiences as his mind and body slowly begin to fade in and out of consciousness. So this film isn't simply about a man who amputates his arm to free himself but it is also a journey of self awareness and redemption for a free spirited guy who finally discovers his limitations.

The entire strength of the film weighs down heavily on James Franco's shoulders. He is naturally in every frame and he delivers, brilliantly. Putting in a credible performance that is worthy of the best actor nominations he has accumulated in the awards shows.

Franco is able to reel you into Ralston's confused and panicked mind. The defining moment both for Aron and the film comes when he horribly realizes what he must do to survive. He rather lose one of his limbs to see his family and friends again than to die alone in a canyon. Watching the last few minutes of the film is a harrowing experience. The scene where he cuts off his arm is unpleasant, gory and very visceral. I covered my eyes but I could still hear his screams.

Cinematography was vivid with the vast expanse of the canyon as well as the different hues. The frenetic phase of editing and the psychedelic flash of colors was a bit jarring. The blaring bursts of very loud and deafening music was the most irritating part of the movie for me. But if that's the way that Boyle chose to tell Aron Ralston's tale of survival and personal triumph, so be it!

2 popcorn buckets:

witsandnuts said...

I wanted to see this last weekend, but my companions wanted to re-watch Tangled (we first saw in December). I've been outnumbered, ugh. ;)

Daphn3 LaurA said...

hehe I guess you don't like watching movies, alone. I figure you can still catch it next weekend.

I'm not really into animated films. I just catch glimpses of them when they are shown on TV na.


Blog Template by - Header Image by Vector Jungle