D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
127 Hours, 2010.
Directed by Danny Boyle.
Starring James Franco.
Danny Boyle followed up his multi Oscar winning box office smash Slumdog Millionaire with a film that continued his indie roots. I’m sure many offers came flooding in for Boyle to do what he wanted after Slumdog, but he decided to go for a fairly low key film about one man with his arm trapped under a rock.
127 Hours is the true story of Aron Ralston (Franco), who when mountain climbing on his own in the remote Canyonlands National Park without a phone or anyone knowing his whereabouts he managed to get stuck. Whilst climbing through a canyon a rock beneath gives way and he falls into the canyon with the rock landing on his arm and trapping it against the wall.
As Ralston tries anyway possible to free himself he chips away at the rock with a knife, tries to build a pulley to winch the rock up and even tries to cut off his arm with his blunt pen knife. As Ralston fears the worst he begins to ration his food and drink as well as start a video diary on his camcorder. As the days pass by his videos become more and more desperate, he resorts to drinking his own urine and suffers with hallucinations.
On the fifth day Ralston musters the energy to break his own arm and begins to use his blunt penknife to cut through the deteriorating tissue in his arm and when finished takes a photo of the boulder before making his way out. Ralston struggles for several miles before he finds help and is rescued by helicopter.
The film brings to the big screen Ralston’s story first told in his book Between A Rock And A Hard Place. Boyle has told Ralston’s story so accurately that Ralston himself has commented that it is a close to truth as you could get. The film is truly a story of one man’s battle for survival and having the courage to do whatever necessary in order to stay alive. The film earned itself 6 Oscar nominations and was another hit for director Danny Boyle.
127 Hours is a film you must see before you die because the scenes in which Ralston cuts his own arm off are that graphic that during early screenings of the film people were reported to have fainted, needed carrying out of the cinema or been physically sick. Boyle does not spare the audience any of the details and brings the true horror of Ralston’s situation to audiences.