DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle
April 2003, Aron Ralston decided to set out on a climbing adventure. He’s a keen outdoorsman, the 27 year old fell and he was trapped in between a rock wall and boulder in Blue John Canyon, Utah. He had packed his gear, had tools and needed to cut his arm off from the elbow down to free himself. It’s not everyday one goes through this ordeal nor wishes it. Watching this film unpacks not only the survivalist in Aron but the ponderous Ralston as he asks existential questions of himself.
Aron Ralston (Franco) needs to understand his predicament. How can he practically use everything he has to his advantage? While drinking a gulp of water, he realises he needs to portion it. Aron Ralston must have to of had a can do attitude and a strong spirit. Both were needed to push through sour circumstances because he wants to keep his life.
The director Danny Boyle casts James Franco as Ralston and what we get as a viewer is ninety minutes of drama and survival. We know the story’s end from the beginning so knowing what comes next isn’t why we want to watch it. It’s how it’s told that makes the viewer part of Aron Ralston’s world.
Boyle’s fast editing in opening scenes creates the pace in which Ralston lives his life. Slightly careless, fun, and free. Ralston lives for the now and aids two lost women and engages with them. When his arm gets caught, the entire pace slows and we hear Aron’s racing heartbeat. Time is against him and we now wait in anticipation to see how director Danny Boyle uses his time as director to tell the tale.
The film focuses on Ralston coming to terms with his imminent death and reflecting on all relationships he has had in life. It’s told with good cut shots, good use of cinematography and strong self talking dialogue Ralston gives himself. You can see the pain and agony of James Franco embodying Ralston questioning when to use the cheap multi-tool knife to break and cut his arm off.
” Just think.”
“Aron do not lose it.”
127 hours is a film of determination. The film shows energy on where to get that determination and how to draw from it. If a person is faced with death, instead of giving up, Ralston as that person looks for a way out. Determination may be a rocky ride but success will be there in the end.
James Franco as Aron Ralston
Kate Mara as Kristi
Amber Tamblyn as Megan