Ladies and gentlemen, as it was so illustrated just moments before I began typing this, I am a sufferer of frequent nosebleeds. I can tell you how difficult it is to get dressed, brush teeth, write, clean, and do just about anything with the use of only one arm while the other supports the hand that is pinching the bleeding nose. The simplicity of this notion was put into rather harsh perspective when I saw 127 Hours.
The story of Aron Ralston is an emotional one and it is nearly impossible to fathom how he not only kept himself alive, but did so with only one hand. If the movie speaks the truth about the actual event, it was no painless feat. An experienced hiker ventures out into the great wide open with a skip in his step and a smile on his face.
James Franco is talented. There was never any question about that. In a movie like this one, he has little to work with. He has flashbacks, hallucinations, and the agony of being stuck. Other than that, he has only his charming wit and good looks to get by on. And he sure does get by. Such an impossible thought… being stuck. I mean stuck.
One of the most striking scenes for me was when he was first caught by the rock that trapped him. The look of absolute terror and disbelief washing over his face was almost overwhelming. The gravity of the situation – no pun intended – is staggering. As one who consistently gets sucked into movies, I kept reminding myself aloud – much to the chagrin of the moviegoers around me – that I was okay.
When the thought of going through this scenario for real settles into one’s mind, it is hard to remain calm even though you may be sitting comfortably in the dark of a movie theater with popcorn butter stains on your jeans. The story of Aron Ralston is truly unimaginable. If you know the story of the man himself – who is alive today, which should tell you something about the film – then you know that this is no ordinary man.
Having rescued himself from a situation in which most of us would probably lose our minds when the will to survive subsides, he showed he has some serious gusto for life. Remarkable story, even more remarkable man, 127 Hours had me in tears. Well done, Danny Boyle.