Sunday, 9 January 2011

127 Hours

Is that the right title? All I know is that I looked up the director, and he's the guy that's done 'Slumdog' (never seen it), and 2 films I have seen: 28 Days Later, and Trainspotting. These films stand miles apart from what I usually blog about. I ended up seeing 127 at a big, commercial cinema, due to a misunderstanding.

So, as they love to say, this film is "based on a TRUE story". I've read about it. A guy falls down a canyon, his arm is wedged by a boulder, he's stuck like that for over 5 days, and in the end he breaks his arm, and hacks it off with a penknife. So this is a survivor action film, in a blockbuster cinema. Great.

I don't want to be the cool anti-conformist hipster telling you Hollywood sucks. I want to tell you that I don't understand what happened here. Why does it have rush up to the part where he falls down the canyon? The director should have utilised the time to introduce us to the character and his life a little more. Showing us scenes with him on his mountain bike with heavy metal playing doesn't do anything for the audience or characterisation, but just works the cinema sound system. Why does the camera have to be all shaky, and try to overload you with its fast and rapid presence, to trigger seizures, just to make you feel that the character is moving quickly? What is the point in a film out in that Cayonland region where you don't exploit the scenery? They did, just once. And that once was so obvious, so mechanical, and lacking any artistic presence, and felt more of a requirement for the audience than creative freedom from the director. Why was there so little portrayal or insight into the victim's character? We had a lot of hallucination and flashback scenes, yet they really didn't offer any insight into the character and his motivation to justify this stamina to hack his arm off, let alone invoke any emotional response in us.

Unfortunately, we're just left with a film that we won't think twice about because somehow, it completely lacks depth, when it is obviously a highly emotional trauma and epiphany in someone's life. The hallucination/flashback scenes were just pointless filler, making this film a real drag. I think this doesn't give credit to the guy's experience, or highlight the love for his family that gave him the will to survive. Blockbusters with their flashy sounds, quick, gaping-hole plots, and trying to appeal to an audience that they treat with an attention span of a goldfish isn't ever going to offer anything that even touches on human emotion. Entertaining...?


Maxine said...

Have you ever seen Touching the Void? It is based on mountain climber Joe Simpson's experience when his climbing partner cuts the rope that binds them together, believing him to be dead and leaving him to fall into a crevasse in the Andes? With a broken leg and no food or water he makes it back down to base camp, but what he endured during the climb down kept me awake all night after I saw it. It really does show you the human spirit and how strong the will is to survive.

Paul said...

I wasn't impressed with this either and had to check imdb to see if the director info was correct!

It reminded me of one of those OMG cable programmes where they show True Stories Of Human Grit -- only this gave it 80 more minutes than cable TV would.

Maxine said...

Ouch! That's a bit cynical!! I saw another documentary that Joe Simpson narrated about a failed climb and rescue attempt but can't remember where it was. It was the 1930s I think and a climber was dangling at the end of the rope, he eventually froze to death there. I'm not too keen on those cable programmes either but Touching the Void really had an effect on me.