Danny Boyle’s mastery of the filmic language is especially evident in “127 Hours” that we get eloquent glimpses of nature adventurer Aron Ralston’s life, even when most of the movie takes place in a narrow, hidden corner of a Utah canyon.
Based on Ralston’s real and agonizing ordeal, “127 Hours” adroitly illustrates his time spent trapped and freeing himself from a boulder that pinned his hand. His tale is often told with bold visual gimmickry, flashy techniques that would look overly pretentious or laughable in less-talented directors’ hands. Trippy dreams, flashbacks, and hallucinations give us all we need to know about him when he’s stuck in that one spot and miserable.
James Franco’s performance is simply mesmerizing; he interprets Ralston with convincing humanity, from a person who’s one with the earth, to someone who expressively goes through the disconcerting stages of grief. And he transmits his desperation successfully especially when frustration-laced survival instincts kick in.
“127 Hours” opens in Metro Manila on Feb. 9.