Monday, 17 January 2011

Film review: 127 Hours

Is a film worth watching if you know how it ends before you watch it? Depends, I suppose. Personally I enjoy real-life drama, and real-life horror, so this film appealed to me. In case you've been hiding under a rock (I DEFINITELY can't be the first person to make that joke) it's about this dude played by James Franco his name) who gets his hand trapped under a boulder whilst out exploring a massssssive canyon (where? I dunno. But it looks rather cool).
The film is directed by Danny Boyle, who flush from Slumdog Millionaire, gets rather excited with this film.
In my opinion, he should have stripped it right back. Instead, he goes a bit overboard with wide shots of the scenery, fancy camera-work, overly-sentimental flashbacks and ridiculous fantasy sequences (dur, I know he didn't dislodge the boulder by getting rained on because he *SPOILER* cuts his own arm off). Do we care about the shadowy girlfriend figure? No, because we learn fuck-all about her. I personally would have gone for keeping the camera solely on James Franco, and made more of the video camera/ his internal monologue etc. Who cares if that's not what happened? Something tells me he didn't really hallucinate a giant inflatable Scooby Doo either.
I watched this film called Buried recently, which is about a bloke who wakes up buried in a coffin and the whole thing is just him inside the coffin, and it's very oppressive and pretty harrowing. I think Boyle should have gone for a similar tact. I think more should have been made of the panic and the slow realisation that he was going to die there unless he did something seriously drastic.
James Franco is quite good; he's like Heath Ledger meets Josh Hartnett but a bit more annoying.
The arm-sawing is pretty good- very gory if you like that sort of thing. Let's face it, it's the moment we've all been waiting for. The fact this his 'younger self' was sat watching him cheapened it a bit; just lazy TV-movie tactics. Slumdog was almost perfect; violent, romantic, featuring Who Wants to Be a Millionaire; it feels like this should have been as good.
I enjoyed this film, but I think someone needed to tell Danny Boyle that the story was strong enough in itself without the soap-opera this-is-how-you're-meant-to-feel-about-this histrionics. Still, amazing story.

No comments: