It could be argued that the ending is the most important part of a movie. If your ending is sub-par, chances are your viewer will leave the movie unsatisfied, no matter how good the beginning and middle were. The element of surprise is always a good crutch when trying to craft a satisfying ending. So, when the media reports from screenings revealed the big climax of Danny Boyle's latest film, '127 Hours', this examiner decided the film was no longer worth seeing. I hated that the movie I was so looking forward to was spoiled. What I didn't know was that the secret that leaked out would bring the movie to new heights, and after it was done, '127 Hours' was a better experience because of the anticipation of the inevitable.
Franco stars as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston. Ralston is a care-free young man full of heart and a longing for adventure, but his exuberant dare-devil side comes back to bite him when he falls into a rock formation, and his right arm becomes trapped under a huge boulder. With little water and less food, Aron slowly loses his mind alone in the Utah mountains, and with nothing but some rope and a dull blade as tools, he resorts to the most extreme measures to ensure he lives through the ordeal.
James Franco is a one-man-show in this claustrophobic tale of paranoia and intrigue, and somehow, he manages to keep the viewer on edge the entire time. Not many actors can carry a film on their back, but Franco is now part of that exclusive club. He gives a frenetic performance, and even received an Oscar nomination last Tuesday for the role. He took a real-life man and literally immortalized him, down to the last detail, on film. He gives a nuanced performance that won't soon be forgotten.
However, Franco isn't the real selling point of the film. It is that, despite knowing what is coming, the audience hopes that the climax will be different. For once, this examiner wished I was hoodwinked by the media. I wasn't, and the fact that the audience knows Aron's final desperate measure for survival makes everything leading up to it that much more agonizing to watch. '127 Hours' is a film so gripping that the audience feels involved. Go get stuck with Aron Ralston between a rock and a hard place, and enjoy one of the best of 2010 at the same time.