127 Hours (2010)
Following the real-life story of Aron Ralston (played in the film by James Franco) 127 hours tells the incredible true story of a man who is exploring a canyon in southern Utah when a rock breaks loose and crushes his arm pinning it to the side of a narrow pathway leaving Aron trapped for 127 hours with little to no food, water, or chance for survival. This was a film I had heard so much about with many claiming it one of the best survival films ever made, so of course I was interested to see what all the buzz was about especially considering how limited it seemed the plot would be from first glance at the situation. As the end credits rolled I had just 2 thoughts in my head. 1-I really need a drink of water right now, and 2-damn that was a great movie!
There are so many things to love about this film but I think none stand out as much as Danny Boyle's direction with this film. The unique way he is able to take this story of desperation and struggle and translate those emotions onto the screen is nothing short of impressive. This is a movie that almost breaks apart as the runtime goes on, as the character gives up hope and his mental state starts to fade so does a lot of this movie and I mean that in a great way. Scenes seem erratic as we jump in and out of hallucinations and the visual gruesomeness grows. It becomes harder and harder to watch which makes the situation all the more horrific and the ending all the more satisfying. Huge props have to go to James Franco as he is basically the only actor in this movie and his performance is hugely handicapped. Despite this, though his portrayal of Aron in this movie is nothing short of captivating, he does such a great job at showing not only the high points of the fight and human spirit but also the low points of desperation and struggle. He is so in line with his character's emotions that they always translate to the audience and are a huge part of why this movie works so well.
If there is a problem I had in this movie it is the first part before we actually got into the survival situation. With how this movie starts off I found that it was at first hard to get into and didn't do a great job setting up our main character and I think a lot of that is because of the flashy editing. I understand it might seem hypocritical for me to say that considering that was one of the major praises I gave the film earlier but when there is the extreme of the survival situation it works, but when it's just portraying normal day life it feels like it is trying to hard and can honestly be distracting. Still though especially once you get into the survival portion of this movie I think it is just fantastic in almost every way.