NOTE: Originally written May 22, 2011 at 3:35 AM.
The verdict: Ten thumbs up!
A bit gory than average (But that’s just the thing. It’s NOT an average film.), and has perhaps, a bit of a lengthy entrance, but if you watch past the first fifteen minutes, I guarantee, the plot will suck you in.
In the middle of the film (when Aron drops below the canyon with his arm stuck between a rock and the canyon wall), my sister-in-law commented, “Bakit kasi siya dumadaan sa mga ganun? Bakit siya mag-isa? Boring yun kasi wala siyang kasama.”
Now, I didn’t mean to offend my sister-in-law or turn our simple movie watching activity into a debating spectacle, but this is exactly what the film renders to its audience. It makes you think of possibilities and going beyond limitations, of reveling against the ordinary. Like for instance, traveling alone. What are its actual repercussions, outside of the film’s connotations? Could it be that life-threatening for people to think of it as such a peculiar action? Maybe it’s just that a lot of us think alone means the same as lonely. A threat to safety, not a way to open possibilities for oneself. I’d like to think of traveling alone, though, as an entirely different color to the word journey, not just a form of transit to another place.
About 2/3s into the film, I start feeling defensive of Aron. I know some people think of him as a dumb hero, but his five-day lone journey gives you room to understand what we couldn’t find in our daily journeys in the world. It lends you strength. It shows us the unraveling of frustration and human frailty and what most of us miss to rely on in dire times: ourselves.
Of course, James Franco‘s performance shouldn’t be booted out of the equation. True, James Franco used to be just another pretty face in Hollywood for me. But 127 Hours gave him the depth that I haven’t seen in him in any of the Spiderman sequel franchises. I am no movie critic (far from it), I don’t know a lot about the technical side of film, but I gotta say, whattan impressive performance. Hats off to you, sir.
Too, the musical score was just genius. I like that part best when he finally comes out of the canyon, a severed arm on one side, and then the triumphant, anthem-like segment of Sigur Ros’ Festival starts marching into the scene. This was supposed to be the part when you hear morbid Thomas Newman melodies in the background, and you sort of start feeling sorry for the guy, but that music, surprisingly, makes you feel overjoyed and greatly invigorated that he made it out alive, albeit with one hand less (Aaaahh!!!I love Sigur Ros! Have I mentioned I had their songs incorporated for our wedding’s bridal march, couple’s reception entrance and our wedding video? But, anyway.). Like you were with him all throughout that depressing bout. I had to restrain myself from raising my two arms, fists clenched, and exclaiming “Yes!!!That’s what I’m talking, man! That’s what I’m talking!” Hahaha.
Ya, Aron is bat shit. But he’s also an admirable and extremely courageous entity in an age when people are struggling to find out what their journey is about in a hapless, chaotic world.