Based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours recreates Ralston’s fateful weekend trip that came to an abrupt halt when he fell down an remote, narrow canyon, pinned by a fallen boulder on his right arm. None of his extensive experienced or physical ability can budge the rock and he finds himself stuck there for five days contemplating his life and how he could have lived it differently.
Obviously he manages to escape his prison, and you may already know what lengths he has to go to t break free, but that’s not the focus of Boyle’s film, it’s the end game, the hope filled final act that comes after a long period of despair and delirious visions.
Apart from the two girls he briefly meets on his trip, and the delrious flash backs and prophetic visions, the film is pretty much a one man show, with James Franco playing the role of Ralston.
Whilst Boyle’s a deft hand at producing captivating stories on film, it’s Franco who makes 127 Hours a surprisingly intense film, varying his character between being goofy, cocky, brave and vulnerable. We witness as he teeters on the edge of sanity, occasionally toppling over, only to climb back up and embrace life and the desire to life and make a change in his life.
It has as much of a cinematic thrill ride as any thriller can deliver and makes the most of the confines of the story to produce a rare treat that is not only entertaining, but is also a film that you genuinely don’t mind recommending to everyone you know.
Reviewed by: Jonathan