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Soundtrack review: A.R. Rahman's '127 Hours'

January 4, 2011 |  7:22 am

127_hours_soundtrack_240_ In his last movie, “Slumdog Millionaire,” director Danny Boyle showed a sophisticated sense of how music and image can intertwine and intensify each other. With his latest, “127 Hours,” he proves his skill again, reenlisting composer A.R. Rahman, who won two Academy Awards for his racing, kinetic score to Boyle’s violent fairy tale set in Mumbai, India.

The majority of “127 Hours” takes place in a claustrophobic canyon in Utah, where James Franco’s character, mountain climber Aron Ralston, is trapped with a boulder pinned on his arm, left to little devices but to examine his life. The music reflects the dual notions of the movie: an introspective mood fraught with anxiety and the same high-energy lust for experience that fired the engine of “Slumdog Millionaire.”

About half of the soundtrack is devoted to original music from Rahman, especially his three “Liberation” explorations — at turns tense, wondrous and hallucinatory with parched guitars. But the secondary music beautifully captures the tone too. Sigur Ros’ “Festival” is a nine-minute flight that starts as a hushed prayer and builds to an exalted soar.

— Margaret Wappler


A.R. Rahman
“127 Hours”
Interscope Records
Three and a half stars (Out of four)