Then, moment by moment, as the film progressed over its 90 minutes, I got it. It feels so strange to say that every moment in this film has a pay-off -- strange because this could have been a straightforward narrative, a test of will for the audience who have to earn that triumph of the end. But writers Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle (who also, of course, directed) don't play that game. They've crafted a fascinating story that is only superficially about the Will to Survive and the Triumph of the Spirit. What it's really about, for me anyway, is companionship. It's the same message of Into the Wild -- Life is better when shared with others -- but the guy actually lives to put that into practice! Hope! Triumph! Beauty!
|My favorite shot. Regrets, beautifully visualized.
A.R. Rahman's score is well-done, much better than his remix work on Slumdog Millionaire. Jon Harris's editing puts us into Ralston's increasingly fractured mental state, and it's neat to see how the techniques earlier used to show us a bustling, free-wheeling life can suddenly convey entrapment and desperation. Well-executed, really. The sound design, the cinematography, even the casting -- crucial in believably populating Franco's family and social lives so that we see something worth getting out of that rock for -- everything was expertly done.
Go for it. It's actually entertaining, with welcome moments of humor and suspense. But it's also an exciting and uplifting story, well-told.