127 Hours

2 years back when Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ came out in India most of my B-school friends & colleagues, like the Americans & audiences world over, were all gung ho about the movie and recommending it to everyone. However, for some reason I found it to be a good movie but never deserving of all those Oscars (I did have my roommate who shared similar views, if I remember correctly) and the less I say about the performances of the lead pair the betterJ.So when I went to see 127 Hours, which like Danny Boyle’s last release had got rave reviews and already nominated for the Oscars in various categories, I had my share of doubts. The movie, inspired/based on a real life incident, stars James Franco who I think is one of the best upcoming actors in recent times and this movie would certainly be a landmark in his career (I may sound like an old seasoned actor here… but I am not trying to beJ).  Music is by AR Rahman, and again like the movie I found it to be better than Slumdog Millionaire’s background score, reason could be the same – I probably just didn’t find Slumdog.. live up to its expectation & hype that was generated. The music score was fresh and gelled extremely well with the stunning visuals of the Canyon in Utah, US.The movie starts with Franco (Aron Ralston) starting on his solo trekking adventure in Blue John Canyon in Utah without informing anyone of where he is heading on Friday night. During the trip his chance meeting with 2 girls in the canyon leads to one of the best scenes in the movie – the drop in the underground water cave. It’s simply breathtaking and gives a great impression of things to come in terms of visuals. After bidding goodbye to the 2 ladies, he resumes his solo adventure and while exploring one of the ‘cracks’ in the earth gets his hand trapped in a boulder. The next 70minutes show how Aron spends his 127hours stuck in that fissure and this is where the talent of James Franco & Danny Boyle is at full display & at their best.Just imagine an actor being told that you would be the only person on screen for a one full hour and that too at just one place, no movement of your feet, not even a step; no lush locales, no beautiful women around, no sad-depressing songs, no English styles curtains/mansions (Mr. Bhansali), just nothing. I think it would elicit 2 extreme reactions from the actor, either he would want one of the above things included or he would be simply fired up and raring to go. That James Franco has given an Oscar worthy performance is obvious in the moment he gets trapped. But the highlight of his performance is the scene where he creates an interview like situation and enacts the part of the host, himself & a caller. Its truly hilarious and you end up laughing your heart out even in such a tense situation and the next moment you are again overcome by the protagonist’s position.Adding to this is the fact that it’s based on a true story which brings in the ‘realism’ to the cinema and the direction of Danny Boyle is top notch. The method with which he has combined the real with the hallucinations that Aron goes through is just marvelous and truly shows how brilliant he is. As an audience it becomes so much easier to understand the suffering that Aron’s going through stuck in that place for 127 hours without food & eventually water and how he tries his best to survive knowing fully well that there is minimal hope.The climax some may find to be a little gross but again that was the reality and it had to be shown; it is something you would have expected/known but it still makes you uncomfortable in your seat. The ending is also well shot & directed and you do get to see the real Aron alive & kicking.And yes, it’s a must watch for all the adventure/trek freaks, specially one of my dearest friends who goes on adventure trips all over the country all ALONE…!! Dude- even Aron doesn’t do it anymoreJ. Also, some of the really faint hearted may not like the climax as I realized today after discussing with a friend.PS – please don’t make the mistake of buying popcorns in the interval that I did. It was extremely difficult to munch on them quietly due to first, the silence & later the scenes in the movieL. Sorry to friends who came to see it with meL.My Rating – 9/10(Script – 8/10; Direction – 9.5/10; Performance – 9.5/10; Entertainment – 9/10; Music – 9/10)Starring: James Franco (Spiderman Series, Milk, etc) & others…Director: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, The Beach, etc)Producer: Danny Boyle & OthersWriter: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, Aron Ralston (based on his book)Music: A.R. Rahman

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