127 Hours

March 6, 2011
Unlike its competition in this last Academy Awards for Best Picture, director Danny Boyle ditched the complex plots and storylines surrounding other nominations and connected with the most raw form of movie-making in his gripping rendition of the novel Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston. His creativity when filling an hour and a half of film with five days of silent delusions showed not only the strength of his direction, but also the powerful choice of James Franco as the leading road.

The movie was simplistic and original, centered around the tragically inspiring true story of Coloradan Aron Ralston, who spent 5 days stuck at the bottom of a crack in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Anyone who’s heard of Ralston read the book that resulted from his experience, or heard about the movie knows every minute leads up to Ralston’s amputation of his own arm, and his struggle to reach safety in the hours afterwards.

Without a detailed plot and an already spoiled climax, director Danny Boyle and protagonist James Franco revolutionized the idea of moviemaking. Boyle was able to take a step back from the confusion and thought process that moviegoers must go through in order to simply understand the plot of a movie (NEVER fall asleep during Inception), and spent his time creating the emotional drama that constantly attacks viewers. Not one moment is without creative masterpiece, reminding us that movies aren’t always about trying to figure out what’s going on, but rather to feel what’s going on.

Actor James Franco made feeling the film as easy as breathing. Though both unappealing and uninteresting in previous movies like Spiderman, he proved to be perfectly fit for the role, both physically and artistically. Franco was able to steer the engine of what might otherwise be a completely wrecked ship, leading viewers into the mind of Ralston himself. The power of his acting reminded viewers of the strength of both the human body, and the human soul. As the movie stretched on, and the hallucinations got more and more vivid, including a flash of an inflatable Scooby Doo in the middle of the night, Franco was able to portray his insanity in the most believable of manners. The delirious attitude Franco possesses towards the ending of the movie gave the audience the feeling of true insanity.

After the toe curling and teary amputation process, the central theme of the movie begins to come to light. Though some left the theater unsatisfied, the lesson that you always need someone pounded into their heads, others saw the beauty behind the purpose of the film. Instead of the cliché some things are worth dying for, the ones who stuck it out through the movie were able to see that some things are worth living for. Ralston’s real life act of amputating his own arm in an effort to meet the son he hallucinated in the canyon proved that sometimes living for something is better than dying for it.

Seeing the powerful courage and passion it requires to do what no mere man would do in order to save his own life is an inspiration to anyone who took the time to really appreciate this movie. 127 Hours wasn’t simply an account of someone’s experience, or a means of entertainment for an hour and a half, but instead a lesson of life. I was not only inspired by Ralston’s courage and perseverance in his excruciatingly difficult situation, but also by the power of his story. Aron Ralston, if nothing else was able to show the world through this movie and his book that the soul will fight and fight and fight, driving with a passion until it knows that it can rest. And that is something worth living for.

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