Review: 127 Hours

127 Hours, the follow-up film from Slumdog Millionaire’s Danny Boyle, is the remarkable true story of adventure seeking loner Aaron Ralston, who resorts to extreme measures when he becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering in Utah.

The film features a well deserved Academy Award nominated performance by James Franco, who embodies the very essence of Ralston as he weathers the most difficult climate (figuratively and literally speaking) of his life. In recent years, Franco has churned out amazing performances but this one falls among his best.  In a role that could have easily been excessively showy, Franco abides by the “less is more” rule and carefully crafts an exceptional portrayal.

Direction wise, Boyle doesn’t stray too far  from the stylistic approach used in Slumdog Millionaire, in fact, he probably uses the technique more in this film, giving the audience something to look forward to at every turn. While some may find this to be overkill, others would deem it necessary with Franco being confined to the same setting for 90 percent of the film.

For the most part,  127 Hours a well-rounded film about survival that never treads the waters of being boring or predictable.  Often times you watch “one-man show” films and you’ve checked out after the first act – 127 Hours is not that film.  Combined with phenomenal cinematography, a wonderful script, a sublime score composed by A.R. Rahman and an awards caliber performance by Franco, there’s no question why this film falls among the year’s best.

My Grade: 7.5/10

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