It’s really difficult to get a unananimous verdict on movies like 127 Hours as it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I had a couple of conversations with my friends regarding this movie and found extreme reactions in each case. So let me make it clear firsthand that 127 Hours is a movie which you would either truly love or totally despise because there really is no mid-way. The movie firstly requires patience to see a man stuck in a boulder struggling for 90 long minutes and finally self-amputating his hand to free himself with splashes of blood oozing out. Sounds like Nightmare for some!!!. But mind you, if you like this movie what will come out of you is sincere appreciation for Danny Boyle and James Franco for attempting such a risky yet wonderfully crafted film.
127 hours opens with Aaron Ralston(James Franco)a reckless mountaineer who goes on a hiking trip to the BlueJohn Canyon but unfortunately finds himself wedged, immovably, in a crevasse with a small boulder pinning his arm. He has no friends to call out to. He has no phone to signal for help. All he has is a single bottle of water, a few ready to eat meals and a knock-off Leatherman knife. And thus begins his struggle for freedom which continues for 5 long days. During the course of the struggle Boyle shows how Ralston introspects the happenings of his life, remembers his loved one’s, shoots himself on camera and attempts numerous methods to free himself from the boulder finally to self amputate himself.
Now as I said earlier 127 Hours has some exceptional technical work gone into its making. It has some glimpses of Dod Mantle’s colorfully tricky cinematography and a burbling percussive score by our very own A.R Rahman. The screenplay by Boyle and Beaufoy needs a special mention because lets face it, it’s not at all an easy task to keep the audience glued to the screen for 90 long minutes when you are restricted by space and character constraints. But then there are some hiccups in the screenplay for instance the constant hallucinations in the middle which get repetitive and a bit boring even though the script manages to bounce back at the right time.
127 Hours would not have been half of what it is if it was not for its lead James Franco. Starved skinny, looking humbled and wasted, the actor presses close to the camera, as if begging us to reach through the screen and help him. Not to forget that brilliantly executed radio jockey scene wherein he gives a perfect blend of humour accompanied by signs of helplessness. Way to go Franco.
Honestly for me, 127 Hours is a tale of survival and the desire to live. It throws up a question, asking you that how far would you go to defeat death and choose life. At the end its a triumphant story about life supported by brilliant performances and breathtaking direction. As I earlier said, not everyone would like it but if you are a cinema lover you should certainly go for this one.
Rating: ***1/2 (3 and a half out of 5)