Horror movies? Complete no go.
Saw franchise? Only if you want to see me in hospital.
So of course, after i've seen countless TV spots and internet articles about the graphicness of the arm amputation scene, I said "No way."
But today, I went to go see it and wow, I'm glad I did.
To those of who have been living under a rock for the past couple of months, "127 hours" is based on the true life story of Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who gets trapped after a boulder lands on his arm in Robber's roost, Utah. He is trapped there for 5 days until he finally gathers enough courage to cut through his arm and make his way back home.
It doesn't sound like a very nice story, does it? And yet, in every single scene, the term "life-affirming" screams out at you. It's a 94 minute film and most of that is completed and utterly focused on one man, who has incredibly limited movement. This is where it could all go wrong.
However, it did not go wrong, all because of this guy
Not to be confused with Frankie Boyle.
Directing is an art. Boyle has had a few masterpieces in his time, I'm thinking of films like Trainspotting and Slumdog millionaire, and you can bet that you can add "127 hours" to his list of Masterpieces. The scenes that he composed were both interesting (Look out for the same shot he used to portray the heroin entering the body in "Trainspotting" to be used to show Aron drinking the water, and later his own urine) and unique (Split screens at different point in the film, very effective). Never felt more emotionally connected to a charcter than the scene where Aron talks to himself as if he's on a morning talk show. He looks directly at the camera. Very personal scene. Amazing conenction between you and...
James Franco. Which brings us onto his acting. He did an amazing job. Not once did I question the truthfulness of the film. In my mind, this was fact. He was trapped by a boulder. He was drinking his own urine just to stay alive. He was cutting off his own arm with a blunt knife. You really want to just jump into the screen and help him out.
Screenplay was great. I suppose it had to be, there's already a book and the man himself to base the script on. The use of flashbacks, premonitions and hallucinations were very effective and it gave the viewer a break from the claustrophobic set. If there was too much of these, the film would be more about Aron's imagination than his actual struggle to survive, if there was too little, the viewer may become bored, so kudos for finding the perfect balance.
Onto the famous "Amputation scene". Guaranteed, you say "Amputation scene" and people will immediately say "127 hours". It's the films famous scene and everyone sitting in that screening knows that it's coming up. And we wait in anticipation for it. Some people are going to see the film FOR this scene... I think that's a bit sick! Personally, I went despite of this scene. I had to turn away, it wasn't as graphic as I thought but to watch him try and cut through veins?! No, I took way too much interest at my Fanta Frozen cup at that point. Although I tried to watch the scene in the cup's reflections.... Weird. I know.
Ending? Wow! It left me feeling fulfilled. Almost cried, not sure what that was about, I was just so happy that he was okay. I knew that he was alive and well before going in, but the film was so good, it just made me forget that minute detail.
Lots of imagery in this film too, mostly about freedom. Raven flying above the canyon was my favourite use of symbolism though. Was great.
I'd give it a ten out of ten. Love it.