I initially went to see this movie because I have a massive I-should-be-ashamed-of-myself crush on James Franco. I’m not really familiar with Danny Boyle’s work, and have never seen what I presume is his most successful movie Trainspotting . I knew he must be good, however, as my boyfriend happily watched this with me on our one year anniversary knowing I’d spend the entire time gawping at Franco. Awesome!
The film is an adaptation of Aron Ralston’s autobiography ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ which tells the amazing story of how the cocky climber had to amputate his own lower right arm whilst stuck in a canyon. While solo-canyoneering in Blue John Canyon (Utah) Ralston fell down a pretty huge crack and as he fell, a boulder fell with him, landing on, and ultimately crushing, his right forearm.
Ralston was stuck for five days, with hardly any food, and a limited supply of water. Dehydrated, and delirious (and after being forced to drink his own urine - gross) Ralston decides his only way of surviving is to perform an amputation on his own arm.
Wow. It was pretty brutal, and according to Metro.co.uk “during the film's first public screening three people reportedly fainted and one person suffered a seizure” whilst witnessing the amputation scene. It has also been compared to the Exorcist, as one of the most shocking scenes in film history. Yes it was gory, he hacked off his own arm with a blunt multi-use tool, but ultimately an excellent way of showing what really happened. It’s not excessively bloody, it stays true to the real life horror this man was faced with, without turning it into a gore-fest.
This film is incredible for a number of reasons:
The scenery is absolutely stunning. So much so, it WILL make you want to hop on a plane and wander around canyons for the rest of your days.
Second, it is a true story which is always amazing. It shows Ralston’s realisation of the fact, that he is stuck there because he was too arrogant and cocky to tell anyone where he was going. Therefore, no one knew where to look for him. You witness this realisation, his acceptance of the fact he’s going to die, and then the complete focus he has on not giving up.
Finally, Franco’s performance was amazing. He wasn’t sexy in this movie, he was dying. He wasn’t one of those ‘oh i’m minutes away from death, yet somehow i’ve got lipgloss on’ kind of actors, he was raw, emotional, and incredible; Chapped lips ‘n’ all. Well done Franco.
Oh, and a little note, although the movie is about a man who is stuck in a canyon for 127 hours, the movie doesn’t drag which I kind of expected it to. Bravo Boyle, that must have been tricky, but you succeeded!
Overall, I was massively impressed with this movie. Go see it now!