Written by CONNIE BATES.
Movie: 127 Hours
Rated: MA 15+
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: James Franco
Directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) and based on the true story of extreme adventurer Aron Ralston (James Franco), 127 Hours chronicles the five days Ralston spent trapped in the Canyonlands National Park, Utah, his arm pinned beneath a dislodged boulder. Alone, inadequately prepared and having told no one of his plans, Ralston spent 127 hours in seclusion with a dwindling water supply and a host of doubts about the life he had lead to that point.
Told in a series of flashbacks, hallucinations and real time, Boyle examines the validity of Ralston’s lone wolf persona and almost cavalier attitude towards his own mortality. As Ralston realises the true extent of his situation, we too feel his despair, eventual acceptance and ultimate determination to free himself by whatever means necessary.
It is a credit to the vastly talented Franco that Ralston changes so effortlessly from the arrogant young man we see at the beginning of the film to a man humbled and irrevocably changed by his experience. Franco proves once again that he is a versatile actor, his portrayal of Ralston quietly studied and expressive and an exhilarating journey for the audience.
Ultimately, the film’s success lies with the unsentimental and experienced direction by Boyle. In lesser hands 127 Hours could have become a meandering tale towards an inevitable and truly violent conclusion. However, Boyle has created an engaging film without any of gimmicks usually associated with a true story dramatisation. In the end the film’s message is simple, that hope is always a choice and when chosen can be found in even the most unimaginable of circumstances.
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