[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B004VLKXG0][/pullquote] 5.3 days, 127 Hours, 7620 minutes, 457000 seconds, no matter how you look at this time frame, being stuck in a life and death situation, on your own, in the middle of nowhere, is unimaginable. 127 Hours tells the story of Aaron Ralston the adventure and adrenaline junkie who found himself in a horrifying predicament in the middle of the Utah desert. James Franco embodies the laid-back attitude and rugged look of a traveller, portraying the real life character with effortlessness.
For the people that had never heard of this astonishing act of courageousness before, seeing Franco speeding around on his mountain bike in the first few scenes sets the uneasy tense tone of 127 Hours. With the blinding colour of the desert and daring stunts, it’s hard not to be instantly captivated. The scenery is desolate, which is clarified when he meets only two women before his plight with the boulder.
As his arm becomes trapped he instantly switches to survival mode, distraught but single-mindedly trying to find a solution to his impossible circumstance. Armed with a backpack filled with necessities for one days trekking, he begins to formulate plans. How to keep warm? Is there any way to move the boulder? How can he make the little sustenance he has last? Every minute spent in the crevice was a minute that could be spent getting out. The movie shows how Aron kept a video diary, a sort of progression to death from Day 1, 5 hours in. A perpetual reminder of the trauma he endured, to be prepared and ALWAYS tell someone where you’re going if you’re alone, or simply to pass time.
The passing of time is ultimately what Danny Boyle needed to present when directing 127 Hours, as visually, it can become tiresome to watch someone wait, and wait. Franco’s interpretation of Aron’s ordeal shows surprising sanity; his acting hits the mark in so many ways despite obviously not truly understanding the terrifying situation. As the feature includes only one protagonist, in one setting, the composition of the film needs to be attention-grabbing. His behaviour is what the audience monitor throughout the film, going from proactive but realistic in the first few days, to the delusions and hopelessness of his last few hours.
Danny Boyle (28 Days Later and Trainspotting) incorporated the true life drama with an element of whimsical hallucinations, his interpretation of acceptance. James Franco delivers a believable and evocative performance. His depiction of grief at not seeing the people he loves the most in the world whilst waiting for death, grips the audience.