Review By: Matthew Kerwin
Bio-topics are always difficult to do properly because it’s a challenge to give the real person being depicted on-screen justice. Danny Boyle gets it right and does Aron Ralston and his amazing true story proud.
The film 127 hours is based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place, the story about Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who gets trapped under a boulder while scaling the canyons near Moab, Utah. James Franco plays Ralston and he does a superb job bringing Ralstons energy and demeanor to the big screen. Aron has to go to desperate measures to survive, which means, to keep this G rated, will do some pretty crazy stuff to live.
Many things were done well in the movie, the cinematography was fantastic, for the wider shots, vibrant and scenic, for the personal and closer shots of Ralston, very tight and isolated. The acting very well done as well. The only thing I would change would be part of the script, I know it was based on Ralstons book but it would be very beneficial to get the viewer inside Ralstons head a bit more. The beginning of the film could have benefited from a little less from the side characters and more on Ralstons life. I understand that the movie is mostly about Ralstons struggle with the boulder, but it would have touched home with insight on Ralstons life. It would have been smart to incorporate a scene with his family a few days prior to his canyon trip.
Having said that,the one con that almost took me away from the movie was the music selection, or for that matter, the abundance of music throughout the film. Boyle decides to team up with composer A.R.Rahman again, but it doesn’t work. Throughout the movie we have Bollywood style music weaving into and out of a few scenes and then to top it off, an auto-tuned Bollywood ballad during the more crucial scenes. Instead of having me lost within the scene, it had me laughing in disbelief. I might be in the minority, but I think minimalism would have worked for this movie. A little less music and more of a character study.
Overall the movie was touching and very well done. I recommend this film to anyone that enjoys movies that are based on a real events and have real consequences.