127 Hours
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127 Hours

For psychologically well balanced person there’s nothing more precious in the life. People have been known to suffer unimaginable hardships to cling to life regardless of if it’s just a few more precious seconds or a couple of decades. When faced with extreme circumstances many of society’s rules to put aside as we are forced to consider unimaginable options executing them despite the fact that under any normal circumstances they would seem completely untenable. There have been many movies that are based on the theme of placing a reasonable man in the most unreasonable circumstances. One of the latest films to endeavor to capture such a moment is ‘127 Hours’. Based on the autobiographical novel, ‘Trapped between a Rock and a Hard Place’, by Aron Ralston, an American canyoneer. While exploring some mountains in Utah, back in April 2003 he became trapped in a crevice when a boulder shifted. Over five days he was unable to extricate himself. With no way to summons help and his condition rapidly weakening he was faced with one qualifying truth; in order to get out of the situation and save his life he would have to amputate his arm no anesthesia in lieu of proper instruments yet nothing but a small pocket knife to sever his own limb. There are many films that make the claim "based on true events"; under the banner of dramatic license any semblance to the truth is truly coincidental. In a statement made by Mr. Ralston publicly stated, "… the film is "so factually accurate it is as close to a documentary as you can get and still be a drama." The only notable exceptions of relatively minor such as changing the nationality of tourist he met from the Netherlands to the United States. Knowing how close to the truth this film will inevitably have a drastic effect on you as you begin to watching it. Normally when you reach the point of the most drastic and disturbing action you are unable to ameliorate its effects by reassuring yourself that this is little more than Hollywood sensationalism.

The story begins with Aron Ralston (James Franco), was just finished the drive to Utah's Canyonlands National Park in order to enjoy a day of hiking and climbing. Once that he befriends a couple of tourists, Kristi (Kate Mara) and Megan (Amber Tamblyn), and impressing them with his knowledgeable count shows them a beautiful underground pool. After an entertaining swim Aron leaves the young women to continue want to his destination. He intends to climb a slot canyon part of the larger Blue John Canyon. The climb goes as usual until he reached a particularly narrow section of the canyon where he loses his footing and slips. This causes a boulder to move trapping his arm against the side of the wall. His attempts to call for help of futile; there is no one around him for miles. In order to keep himself focused and alert he begins a video diary. The board was lost extremely tightly against the wall of the canyon leaving him insufficient leverage for him to move it. Using a multi-utility knife he attempts to chip away at the boulder in hopes of causing it to shift slightly but regrettably the plan fails. Realizing at this point he’s going to be there for a while he works out a plan to rush in his food and water. He is resource for an experienced climber so he attempts to construct a pulley system with his ropes but finds that the boulder is just too heavy to budge. During the entire time he continues to make entries into his video diary.

A quick application of the arithmetic to the title of the film revealed that he was trapped for over five days which is much longer than he had anticipated so that even a well-stocked amount of food and water all too quickly become exhausted. After a while it becomes evidence Aron that he has to take it exceptionally drastic course of action if he intends to live. He is not going to extricate himself from the situation with his arm intact. His initial attempts to cut into his arm are painful and unsuccessful. He realizes that the knife wanted by his attempts on the boulder would not be able to cut through the bone in order to sever his limb. By this point he is forced to recycle his own urine to remain hydrated. His mind begins to wander, recalling family and acquaintances including a former girlfriend, Rana (Clémence Poésy), his dad (Treat Williams), mom (Kate Burton) and his sister Sonja (Lizzy Caplan). He finally occurs to him hell can achieve the necessary amputation. You have to break the bones of his forearm in order to facilitate cutting through.

At this point in time most audience members have seen a fair share of all of films that depict lens being seven or just torn off. Indubitably while watching these scenes, as horrific as they may be, you are still insulated psychologically by knowing that is all make-believe, elaborate special-effects. The fact that this is a true account, especially one that was not overly elaborated by the screenwriter director, places this on a completely different level of terror; it could happen to you. It is almost impossible not to ponder what you would do in this situation as you watch this terrible ordeal playing out. Even though Aron was a man who was adventurous by nature and fully understood the risks that he was taking to passionately pursue his past time no one can be fully prepared to go through with what he was forced to endure.

James Franco has been earning a reputation as a modern renaissance man and earned an Academy award nomination for best performance by leading actor was incredible performance in this film. A total of six Academy Award nominations bestowed upon this film including one for ‘Best Motion Picture of the Year ‘and ‘Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay’. It is only fitting that this new piece represents such a significant achievement in the cinematic arts. It is an enduring testament to the endurance and ingenuity of our species. Aron Ralston demonstrated that it is possible to rise up to meet any challenge matter what the personal sacrifices. His will to survive allowed him to overcome such a frightening unimaginable scenario of cutting off your own all without the benefit of any anesthesia or analgesic. And even after breaking his arm and slicing it completely off he still had to remain sufficiently cognizant to continue want to find help. Mr. Franco’s performance in this film demonstrates the amazing range of this actor as he takes his character from a cheerful and helpful young man enjoying an idyllic shrimp with two beautiful young women through to his enthusiasm for challenging himself with a difficult climb and eventually testing his true mettle as he realizes he has just one decision left in his life loses his arm or lose his life. Mr. Franco certainly gave justice to the intestinal fortitude displayed by Mr. Ralston. You might think that this would be a difficult movie to watch considering that the pivotal moment is a self-deprecation the cinematography and editing as shaped by an incredibly nuanced directorial style makes this movie into a mesmerizing event. As you sit there in the comfort of your living room or theater you may be able to convince yourself that you would be able to do this but seeing this action so accurately and powerfully performed remind you that most people would fall short and die.

bulletFeature Commentary by Director/Co-Screenwriter Danny Boyle, Producer Christian Colson, and Co-Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy
bulletDeleted Scenes
bulletSearch And Rescue - actual events that aided the search and rescue of Aron Ralston
bullet127 Hours: An Extraordinary View - a unique collaboration between the director and actor
bulletBD Live - Go behind the scenes with brand-new exclusive footage
bulletDigital Copy

Posted 05/22/2016

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