The problem with films based on a true story is that there is a chance that you already know how the story end. In the case of this film it’s been well advertised that the film is about a mountain climber (played in the film by James Franco), who gets his arm trapped under a boulder and eventually has to cut it off.
As such, the film ends up being less about what happens and more about how it is portrayed. By some coincidence, this is the second film to come out this year (after Buried) to feature only one central character. This film cheats a bit more by Buried through the use of flashbacks and hallucinations. However, the vast majority of the film is James Franco’s character stuck on the side on a mountain.
During the film’s festival run (which included TIFF), there were reports of people fainting during the film’s amputation scene. I do have say that the scene in question is quite graphic and is probably made more disturbing through Danny Boyle’s use of music cues that effectively turns the scene into a human game of “Operation.”
While not the best “person entrapped in enclosed area” film released this year (that still goes to Buried), I though that 127 Hours was an intriguing and suspenseful film that will keep you on the edge of your seat, even though you know how it’s going to end.