Movie - 127 Hours (English)
Director - Danny Boyle
Producers - Christian Colson, Danny Boyle
Cast - James Franco
Original Score - AR Rahman
Cinematography - Anthony Dod Mantle, Enrique Chediak
Screenplay - Simon Beaufoy, Danny Boyle
I dont usually review English/Foreign movies that I see because I dont feel comfortable doing them somehow. But after seeing 127 Hours, I had to write what I felt about the movie. First of all, let me admit that I completely loved Slumdog Millionaire as Hollywood's take on our 70s masala cinema. (It is a different question whether it deserved the Oscars or not, but it still was a great movie). I am yet to see Boyle's earlier work Trainspotting and I've heard only awesome things about it. So I was eagerly expecting 127 Hours and another major reason for that being that AR Rahman was collaborating with Boyle a second time around and anything with the name AR Rahman on the credits gets me excited.
Now to get into the movie. By the time it released in India, I had already known the story of the movie which is inspired by the life of real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston, who became trapped by a boulder in Robbers Roost, Utah, for more than five days in 2003 before amputating his arm with a dull knife. Boyle & Beaufoy wrote their screenplay based on Ralston autobiography Between a Rock & a Hard Place. So I was perfectly aware of the almost all the events that would happen in the movie before going in to watch it. Yet, I had my eyes glued on to the screen for the entire length of the movie and Danny Boyle & team made me experience such thrill, emotions and tension despite almost the entire action of the movie taking place at a single spot where the main lead couldnt even move from his place. Boyle described it as an 'action movie where the guy cannot move' and no words can describe this movie better than that. James Franco lives the role of Aaron Ralston. 90% of the movie features him and him alone and the camera goes so close to the actor to capture every minute detail of his reactions to the terrible situation that he is in. Only an extraordinary actor can perform those emotions with utmost precision and detail that Franco has managed to portray. Watch out for the scene where he imitates a radio interview with himself and of course, the climax where you sitting in the hall would feel the exact same pain that he goes through during those scenes. Terrific performance to say the least. Anthony Dod Mantle & Enrique Chediak capture every minute emotion that Ralston goes through with all the detail through their extraordinary cinematography. And Boyle & Beaufoy give ample scope for them in their screenplay to show how Ralston seems like a minute & insignificant insect inside those huge canyons. Simon Beaufoy & Boyle adapted Ralston's autobiography which is as close to what happened in real life (according to Ralston) as it can be in a documentary, but yet makes the movie an extremely dramatic experience. Even though you can predict the course of events, the screenplay is structured in such a way that even those predictable events become hugely interesting to watch. The flash backs and retrospects are juxtaposed very effectively into the narrative. Both the pauses and the leaps in the narrative come at the right time which makes the screenplay very interesting. And last but not the least, our man Rahman!! There is nothing new which I can say about his brilliance which I havent already said. In a movie like this, the scope for music is enormous. Rahman realizes the enormous potential of the narrative and gives a stunning score which gives equal space for silence as it does for his brilliant music. He is nominated yet again in two musical categories for his work in this film. He faces severe competition from The Social Network & Inception in the original score category, but I must say that his work is definitely as good as the brilliant work by the respective composers in those two movies. His song 'If I Rise' featuring Dido & himself plays out just before the gruesome climax and has an extremely elevating effect. And 'Acid Darbari' plays out during another crucial scene in the movie and has a tremendous impact along with the kind of visuals Boyle has shot for it.
On the whole, Boyle's 127 Hours is a stunning cinematic experience that can be enjoyed best in movie halls, not on torrent prints. You need to be really involved with the experience and watching the movie in a hall indeed gives you that impact of being closely involved with Ralston's experience. And of course, 127 Hours is definitely not for the weak hearted. I am a person who gets quite nauseous when I see a lot of blood, and the climax of this movie would've made me faint if it had been in any other context. But after seeing the entire experience of Ralston, I kept my eyes wide open even during the most disturbing of scenes. Such was the effect of the movie. People contemplating suicide, should see this movie just before they plan to do it. A change of mind is guaranteed. So, do not waste any more time and go watch this movie immediately in the nearest movie hall!!
P.S. - This is the first time I'm writing about an English film, so the writing might seem very amateurish. So please excuse me. :) And of course, no rating for this one. You can assume the rating from how much I loved the movie. :)