62 Views

Film Review: 127 Hours

The prospects, from the premise, look far from thrilling. A film adaptation of the real life story of extreme sports enthusiast Aron Ralston (James Franco) who in 2003, following a freak accident, found himself trapped on the inside of a canyon by a boulder pinning his arm to a wall.

Five days later, having extinguished his supply of food and water and seeing various attempts at freeing himself fail, he decides to amputate his trapped arm; his only instruments a blunt pocket knife and a makeshift tourniquet.

An incredible story, no doubt. But one that surely seems more suited to the small screen than the big one. In the hands of any ordinary director and actor the film could have turned into a overwrought, sagging snooze-fest. Thankfully though, Boyle and Franco are no ordinary  combination and in their hands the story becomes a blistering, gut-wrenching ride that ranks amongst the most intense cinematic experiences of this year.

And while reports of audience members fainting seem a little over the top, ‘The Scene’ is just as toe-curlingly painful and nauseating as one would expect it to be.  But this, quite obviously, is unavoidable. As Ralston lurches from his initial sense of panic to an acceptance of his fate, to then go easy on the audience at the final moment and to sanitise the experience that the real-life Ralston endured would be to inflict the severest case of cinematic blue balls imaginable.

It just couldn’t be done any other way; and deep down we all know this. This is not arbitrary gore along the lines of ‘Saw’ or ‘Hostel’, it serves a real purpose: to represent the truth of what really happened.

Seemingly using every trick that he has accumulated over his near twenty year career Boyle’s frantic 1990’s MTV style aesthetic – which can occasionally be quite jarring to some – works perfectly here. From split-screen openings, time-lapse photography, flashbacks to childhood, Scooby-Doo hallucinations and even the dreaded video diary none of these, surprisingly, ever feel gimmicky or forced and succeed in making the film as accessible and approachable as a film about a man who cuts off his own arm could ever hope to be.

Some people will describe ‘127 Hours’ as one of the worst date movies ever created but I can’t help feeling like this is a  little unfair. Granted, if the film faded to black immediately after the three-limbed Franco stumbles away from the boulder your overwhelming desire would probably be to crawl into the foetal position and cry yourself to sleep as quickly as possible.

But it doesn’t. There is still Ralston’s rescue which is a scene just as effective and moving as any scene from this year. As a result you leave the cinema exhilarated with a burning desire to live life making ‘127 Hours’ one of the best films of the year and far from a mood killer.

Just don’t make dinner reservations for immediately afterwards.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
312 views1
Campus News
312 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
20 views
Campus News
20 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
25 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
51 views
Arts
51 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
45 views
Arts
45 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
105 views
Artist Focus
105 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
74 views
Interview
74 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
130 views
Arts
130 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
130 views
Arts
130 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
150 views
Arts
150 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
125 views
Artist Focus
125 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
105 views
Books
105 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
140 views
Science
140 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
191 views
News
191 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS
Comment
181 views
Comment
181 views

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS

Sarah McIntosh - May 2, 2018

The idea of a land where my religious identity is welcomed and where I feel safe to be myself and live in peace is a beautiful idea…

Student research happening at Sussex
Features
163 views
Features
163 views

Student research happening at Sussex

Nikolaos Manesis - May 1, 2018

(Image source: Flickr, Pixabay, Wikipedia) Another academic year is coming to a close and with it, the last edition of The Badger. To celebrate our last science…

Sussex Festival cancelled
Campus News
226 views
Campus News
226 views

Sussex Festival cancelled

Jordan Wright - April 30, 2018

The Students’ Union have cancelled their highly anticipated end-of-term event Sussex Festival: Desert Island Disco, which was due to begin on Saturday May 12th. The Students’ Union…

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event
Comment
244 views
Comment
244 views

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

These comment pieces represent the opinions of both the Students' Union and Liberate the Debate with regards to the  recent cancellation of the Society's freedom of speech…

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood
Artist Focus
157 views
Artist Focus
157 views

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood

Louisa Hunt - April 25, 2018

Rory Hinshelwood studies Zoology with Spanish at Sussex. His brand is called Poplar St., at the moment the brand sell embroidered high-quality t-shirts. Rory works mostly in graphics…

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen
Artist Focus
115 views
Artist Focus
115 views

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen

Emma Phillips - April 24, 2018

The Badger spoke with Sussex University’s Maayan Cohen about her creative workshop, ‘Bits and Pieces.’ Can you tell us a bit about Bits and Pieces- what’s the…