after my Gnomeo and Juliet daliance I had a three quarters of an hour wait for the 8.30 p.m screening of 127 Hours. So I went for a walk around town. Such a nice warm evening, so typical of Napier at this time of year.Well
I was rather fortunate to get a free ticket so I saw this movie for nothing. Readings have a rewards programme and since I go so often I get alot of free passes and other rewards.
Surprisingly besides myself there were only 6 others to see this film! I expected more because the buzz about it has been so positive and because of Boyle's recent success with Slumdog Millionaire. I was reading a bit on this film and found out that Boyle made a film in 1996 called Shallow Grave, that has somewhat slipped into obscurity. It was the first film he made and I remember being immensley impressed by it when I saw it all those years ago.
Anyway, 127 Hours is definitley a Boyle film. The technique of using 3 shots in one frame is typical of his style and was used throughout Slumdog. It certainly isn't distracting and gets the viewer involved. After having seen this film I realise how much skill and effort has been put in to making it so watchable. After all accidents happen everyday and the great strength of this film is keeping the viewer engaged in what could have easliy became a mundane and too slowly paced failure.
James Franco is superb in the role and again Boyle must take so much credit for that. His imprint is all over this film. To compress 127 hours into just under two and make the viewer feel every one of those hours is testament to Boyle. And believe me you feel those hours. This is not for the faint hearted! I have heard of girls screaming during this film and people leaving because it is so gut-wrenching. It is one of those rare films where you are fully engaged as a person. Your empathy for him and his predicament comes through as you imagine yourself there instead of him.
There are also some light hearted moments in the guise of black humour as Franco remonstrates with himself. I chuckled a few times as I could identify with what he was saying. I think all of us will find ourselfs in a difficult position in life and know exactly how Franco is thinking and feeling. It really is just such a great film in how it draws the viewer in and you begin to feel everything Franco's character is. Not physically of course, but mentally. We are all human and if this movie doesn't move you emotionally and make you squirm then you must have a heart of stone!
The clincher for me was when Franco broke his own arm so he could amputate around the break using a blunt multi tool. Believe me I squirmed and audibly yelped! The courage to do something like that is unbelievable and again your empathy comes to the fore. When he begins to cut his arm off you begin to feel sick, especially when he has to cut his own tendons and nerves. Gruesome and uncomprmising in graphicness.
This is an outstanding film in every possible way. I just cannot fault it . It pulls you in as a human being and physically moves you. You squirm, you gasp and you identify with the character. It is a rare feat for a film to do and believe me this is a film that will stay with you for a long time afterwards.
An unmissable film of exceptionable quality.
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