Based on a true story. It is a marketing term that is used quite freely when it comes to film. Sometimes a filmmaker can take a story and strip it of its core and reconstruct their own version of what happened; others will follow the details exactly in an effort to create a truly accurate representation of what really happened. In reference to Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, I have absolutely no idea how accurate the film is; however, at the moment, I don’t really care.
Filled with eye-jarring scenery, an intriguing story showcasing the will to live and an unforgettable performance by James Franco the film more than lives up the hype, it surpasses it.
Much like Cast Away in 2000, 127 Hours relies heavily on the talent of one man – Mr. James Franco. Co-stars Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara are both in the film for a max of five minutes. The fact that they are second and third billed lets you know that this film is really all about Franco’s Aron Ralston, a Utah adventurist who finds himself stranded when a boulder falls on his arm. Five days of agonizing pain leads Aron into a deep analysis of his own life, ultimately leading to a life or death decision that will have you squirming in your seat, gripping the arm rests as you attempt to control your actions.
With this performance, Franco should finally be able to break out of the mold and certify himself as a strong, diverse and highly respected actor. A spot amongst the years best is a pretty safe bet at this point as he gives the most gripping and complete performance I have seen all year. Not that hard when you are the lone presence in one of the most engaging and thought provoking films. To that we all owe Danny Boyle a huge thank you – he has officially done it again!