If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Starting off with a complaint about the actual experience of viewing this movie might not be a good idea but it seems I have no other choice. The fact is that in the audience I had the displeasure of watching the movie with there was a certain type of a person that until that day I have never met but heard stories of. A screamer – one who sees going to the movies as their own private adventure which they forget they share with others and thus take expressing their feelings to the extreme. She seemed at first like just another viewer, said excuse me when she walked past me with her boyfriend and didn’t even talk during the trailers. I should have sensed what was coming though, when the trailer for the upcoming Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan came on. Right at the end there’s a little clip were Natalie Portman pulls out something from her backbone, which I admit is pretty graphic, but the scream I heard from my left was downright inappropriate. I looked over, and surely, it was that nice woman I saw before. Ok, I let it go, I didn’t even think twice about it. She seemed genuinely shocked and even covered her mouth; why she covered it AFTER screaming beats me, furthermore; if that shocks you, why the hell would you go see a movie about a guy who cuts his arm off?! (I am convinced that’s not a spoiler so get over it).
Now the lights dimmed and the movie began. I love Danny Boyle’s visual style, so just the opening credits hooked me in. I quickly forgot about the previous incident and just admired how well the movie hit the ground running. Now comes the part when I explain the plot, but the only thing that you need to know is that Aron Ralston(played by James Franco) is a mountain climber, who after falling in an isolated canyon in Utah has his arm pinned down by a fallen boulder basically trapping him in total seclusion. This is all based on real events, so you know the rundown of the story even before you sit down to watch it play out. Keeping that in mind, let’s get back to our lady friend.
By the time this moment came, I was already grandly angry, you see the woman not only laughed hysterically at every joke that was mildly funny but she actually screamed(!) when the actor on the screen fell of his bike within the first 10 minutes of the film. Right at that moment a little bulb flashed in my mind – maybe she’s slow? I really felt bad for her for like a second only to look over and see that she was trying to hide her face behind her boyfriends back like an 8-year old. This person was not slow, she was just humongously annoying. Now I get where the guy was coming from, she was obviously attractive but none of us in the audience were getting some! Then another bulb flashed in my mind’s eye, if this is how she reacts to a little thing like that, what will happen when the really graphic stuff happens? This guy is about to cut his freaking arm off. Okay I will not bore you with every time she laughed out loud or screamed, just know that when Ralston falls , the woman moaned, yes as in she obviously very nearly reached the pinnacle of sexual pleasure. I looked around to see if it was just me imagining all this, and surely it wasn’t. People were laughing, even though James Franco is on the screen, convincingly screaming, crying and everyone is smiling and staring in the general direction of the Real show. That was a blast but it wasn’t the last.
Getting back to the movie, apart from the obvious obstructions, I loved it. It takes a master of the art to make an audience feel for this character with the plot given and by that I mean Mr. Franco, Mr.Boyle and the unsung heroes Anthony Dod Mantle& Enrique Chediak who were responsible for the beautiful cinematography. I will pick on James Franco, just because he deserves the best actor nomination that he will surely receive, he is mesmerizing in this role – and honestly he couldn’t have been nothing less because we spend virtually every single frame with his face on it. Boy does he knock it out of the park, probably best known for his role in the Spider Man franchise, and unfairly so. I will come out and blame it on the role choices he has played in the past. He can now put all that behind him, because the offers will now flow from all directions and he deserves all of it.
Now comes my favorite part of the screamer story, <spoiler>>> in a dream sequence where our hero is miraculously saved by a deus ex machina monsoon which frees his hand, yet allows him to reach his long-lost girlfriend in no-time. I don’t blame you if for a moment there you went with it because that’s what the scene is supposed to do. Now the lady on the left was convinced it was all true – when the rock went up and Aron looks at his hand she yelled in the general direction of her boyfriend and I quote, “That’s his hand!” giggled like a school girl and then CLAPPED when, after a curious flash forward he’s already driving his car. </spoiler>>>I have a public announcement – never, ever, under any circumstances clap in a movie, unless you’re retarded, 5 years old or the director is sitting behind you. You just don’t do it, the same way you don’t clap after a pilot lands his plane(only Europeans do) or after a scene is over in a play. Honestly it was quite a struggle not to get up and tell her to shut her mouth, no one seemed eager either, it’s like everyone was waiting for one of us to do it, but nobody wanted to be The Guy. Because once you stand up and say something there’s a fine line when even though you’re convinced you’re right, the whole audience may actually turn on you.