Monday, January 24, 2011

127 HOURS (2010)

The wonderful thing about Danny Boyle is that he never repeats same plot, same theme again and tries to explore something new with every next film. He’s back and this time he comes with a film based on personal real life story of Aron Ralston, a young adventure lover who left his home to spare his weekend adventure without letting anyone know. The film is screen adaptation of his book ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ scripted by Boyle and his academy winning screenplay writer-collaborator Simon Beaufoy.

The film shows us the struggling journey of a young explorer whose one arm got stuck beneath a huge boulder rock down in isolated Utah canyons. He’s struggling for 127 hours (five days) in a place where getting help must be a big joke. The situation is a big fix which occurs within just fifteen minutes as film begins and it keeps my fingers crossed what he’ll do next and how the film will carry forward the drama from this point onwards for next one hour and fifteen minutes. His only companions are objects- a sports watch, a camera, a headphone, some food, a bottle of water, multipurpose small knife. We see his struggle days and nights trying damn hard applying various ideas to get his arm out of it.

Ralston filmed a daily video diary while stuck in canyon and it helped Boyle and Franco to push the story forward and create those emotional ups and downs interestingly. Boyle was so impressed that he kept few footage dramas without much change and even retained the same Canon camera for the film too. Watch that scene which begins with funny mock TV talk show where Ralston’s alter ego interviewing and asking questions and he’s answering them facing the recording camera and with ‘oops’ it gets back to hopeless reality where he’s addressing his parents in front of camera delivering his last confession. We see moments of his personal life and family, friends and a girlfriend revealed through few snaps of his memory.

Needless to say that the film is all on James Franco’s shoulder and though he was not Boyle’s first choice, he honestly captures the emotional echoes of real life Ralston dangling between hope and frustration, pain and pleasure. Boyle films have technical spark i.e. – hyper kinetic editing, fast narration, stylistic camera work. The pace of the film takes halt during certain moments of emotional drama but then its challenging task to show a single character trapped in a fix where he can’t even move and that for five days. Mind it, it’s not an adventure film with action but a personal journey of a man trapped in most hopeless situation decided by fate and he has no option except tragic loss on his part. But what is more wonderful is even after this his journey never ends and that’s make him a different man.

A R Rahman’s background score is fine (worth to listen Ranjit Barot’s drums and a single with Dido) and Boyle is so happy with result and nominations that he’s going to repeat him in his next film too. Cinematography is just awesome and beautifully complementing to the spirit of film like this; it’s quite challenging work for cinematographer too especially filming that trapped part but Boyle has unique camera sense and you’ll agree with me once you watch it.

One of the best films of the year and compulsory watch. Boyle deserves clapping once again.


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