Director – Danny Boyle – 2010 – US – Cert. 15 – 93m
UK release date 07/01/2011, cert. 15, 93 mins
The trailer for this gives a pretty good impression of about its first third. Experienced, youthful and single outdoor explorer Aron Ralston (James Franco) mountain bikes through the Utah landscape, meets a couple of girls and shows them an incredible underground lake, continues on his merry solo way until, rock climbing, he slips down a crevasse where a falling boulder pinions his wrist…trapping him for the eponymous and subsequent 127 hours / the rest of the film.
Where Buried (Rodrigo Cortés, 2010) relentlessly encased its leading man in a coffin from opening to closing frame, 127 Hours not only starts off in wide open landscapes but also punctuates its narrative with memory flashbacks, dreams and visions. Thus, when you see Aron freeing himself, you’re not initially sure whether he’s actually doing so or merely imagining it in his head. Such devices provide space to deal with the transcendent in a way that Buried never really did.
If Buried is a horror movie (will he survive being buried alive? can he escape?), 127 Hours starts off as outdoor adventure then veers into the question of: if you knew for certain you were going to die, what would you want to do with the ever decreasing amount of time you had left?… Read the rest