I have heard many people say this over the last couple of days; Well, you see, Danny Boyle never makes a bad film.’
I am struggling to disagree, however within anyone’s work there are always high points and low points and one gets the feeling with 127 Hours is that it is very much a director’s film.
What I mean by that is that it is intensely personal. It is, after all, about the life-affirming situation played out by one man. It feels as if Danny Boyle has made this for himself – and for me that is one step towards a great film.
There is no doubting the credibility of the story and the way it is told. Man gets stuck, man gets desperate, man resorts to inhuman act of cutting his own arm off to survive. It is wonderfully basic and simple; there is no cause for concern over the depth of the story. What you get is all there is. There is something very refreshing about it.
The excellent James Franco depicts real life climber Aron Ralston – a performance which injects life and vigour into the most serene and thoughtful sequences. Danny Boyle’s timing perfection shows itself here again – the picture is weighted in a manner which which is gripping without it shouting at the screen telling you so.
Herein lies another of the film’s positive sides – the subtlety of this film brings out the fact that it achieves a lot merely by existing in its own right. Filming such a film is an enormously difficult feat to accomplish successfully; and while watching one gets the sense of an accomplishment all round – Aron Ralston’s, James Franco’s and Danny Boyle’s – for being brave and suggesting that people may actually want to watch a man chopping his own arm off.
‘It isn’t really enjoyable in the traditional sense of the word,’ claims Boyle. This is true, however the enjoyment comes from the inspirational story. Yes, there are bits that are slightly naff – and the tacked-on elements of the attractive females at the beginning show a little weakness, however, none of this really matters. Just marvel at Ralston’s feat, and then walk out of the cinema wanting to talk to the man in real life. This is, after all, an incredibly moving, wonderfully encapsulating film with performances to astound. Very much recommended.