Movie Reviews - 127 Hours (2010) | Movie Review - Excerpts (Updated - Sep 13)

Reviewed by Peter Debruge | (Thanks to Ejaz for sending the link)

Danny Boyle has taken us to the surface of the sun ("Sunshine") and the end of the world as we know it ("28 Days Later"), testing the limits of human endurance with each radically different project. "127 Hours" takes the adrenaline rush one step further, pitting man against nature in the most elemental of struggles as Boyle compresses the true story of rock-climbing junkie Aron Ralston, who spent five days wrestling with a boulder after a rockslide pinned his arm against a canyon wall, into an intense 93 minutes. Marketed correctly, pic should spell another hit for the high-energy helmer.

As nerve-racking as the whole predicament is, it's surprising how much humor manages to sneak in, with A.R. Rahman's Western-sounding synthpop score building from tension to ultimate triumph (with a boost from the original Dido collaboration "If I Rise"). Many will come out of sheer curiosity about Ralston's self-administered amputation (whether or not they manage to keep their eyes open during the scene itself), but the scenes that follow are even more effective, right up to the closing images of the real Ralston, still chasing the adrenaline dream.

Reviewed at Telluride Film Festival (Sneak Preview), Sept. 4, 2010. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Special Presentations.)

Excerpts from some more Reviews

Boyle reteams with A.R. Rahman, who won two Academy Awards for their last collaboration (Slumdog Millionaire). Rahman’s score for 127 Hours is more involved in the moments before and after Ralston became stuck in the canyon. I almost wish there were more of it, but it seems Boyle chose to play the dramatic moments more naturalistic (which is understandable). Read more  >> (Thanks to Raghavan)

Technically, Boyle is assisted by exemplary cinematography credited to both Enrique Chediak and Anthony Dod Mantle. A.R. Rahman, who famously collaborated with Boyle on "Slumdog," is back for a second go around with new songs and compositions that eloquently fit the mood (most appear to feature Dido in the vocals).  Rahaman is also pitch perfect in his score for the film's most dramatic moment, helping Boyle create the unexpectedly uplifting conclusion.  All three will be key players in their categories as awards season progresses. Read More >>   (Thanks to Anup)

My other complaint is that this really needed a proper, real score. I love A.R. Rahman (Slumdog's soundtrack is one of my all-time favorites), but it didn't work in this. It needed a more melodic, moody conventional score, but instead we get Rahman who sounds like he's experimenting with random instruments throughout the whole thing. Some of the songs in it are good and work in context, but the score was another part that I felt needed a lot of work. Read More >> (thanks to Nithyanandhan)

Although Ralston's ordeal gripped the world seven years ago, there was no guarantee that a film would do justice to the chilling true story. All of the key creative personnel contribute to the movie's nail-biting tension and unexpectedly moving finale. Jon Harris's editing is matchless, and Rahman's score effectively heightens the emotion. Ultimately, however, it is the talents of Boyle and Franco that sock this movie home. Read More >> (Thanks to Siva)

Full of visual invention that exhibits a kinetic sense of cinema, complemented by a superb score from Slumdog collaborator A.R. Rahman, Boyle has followed up one great success with another-Piers Handling . Read More >> (Thanks to Kalyan)

Meanwhile, A.R. Rahman's score and the rock-song interludes work overtime to comfort Aron and the spectator with music.Rahman's closing theme works wonders here; so does a glimpse, just before the closing credits, of the real, smiling Aron Ralston and his wife . Read More >> (Thanks to Sravan)

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