The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.
MOVIE REVIEW: 127 Hours
So, I know I know, this isn’t exactly a new movie. About this time last year it was up for a few nominations from Mr. ol’ Oscar himself.
Let’s start off by saying, it’s not that the movie didn’t intrigue me… well, ok, I’ll be honest. It didn’t. I had watched on one of the prime time shows on one of the network stations way back when, about Mr. Aron Ralston’s story that inspired the Hollywood adaptation of his journey up, down, over and around Utah’s Blue John canyon… *If you have not heard of or know of this story, click here for more info* I felt by watching this network special that I extracted all what was necessary in understanding the events of this real life tale, and while watching it from the individual who experienced the actual happenings himself. No actor. The real mccoy.
So, when Hollywood decided to put together a film based on this man’s experience, I had no desire to see what I considered a ‘Hollywood’ version of what I already heard and knew took place. No way could they covey it any better or make it any more real than what I had heard from the real Aron Ralston himself.
Well fast forward to…Now… or to be more accurate, yesterday, when I decided, ‘hey, it’s on tv… not much else on… why not? With that, I decided to go ahead and give this movie a go. And go ahead I did…right along on the journey with Aron Ralston (played by James Franco) into an adventure of thrill seeking adrenaline where we ultimately find him struggling in all human capacities -physically, mentally, pyschologically, spiritually- desperate to free and save himself from a most certain death, and to his own demise- after taking what he considered an innocent hike, something that was, for him, nothing out of the ordinary. But on this day, as he put it, the boulder that fell and crushed, trapping his arm, was waiting for him. It had been waiting for him his whole life. Since the boulder had been first created in the cosmos of space.
Now I’m hearing the term ‘heroic’ thrown around a lot in regards to this film. Let’s first be clear that I don’t see this man as a hero. The true definition of a hero is someone who sacrifices him or herself for that of someone else. In this case, Ralston (Franco) jetting off to a canyon hike, telling no one where he was going or what he was doing, does not constitute as heroism. In all actuality, there many people who have no sympathy for his story. None. He brought this life changing, and almost life ending experience onto himself. In the movie, Ralston (Franco) even recognizes this.
With all that said, isn’t that actually something to be celebrated in this man’s story?- the fact that he is faulted and in turn his experience has the ability to show us our own humanity? And aside from that, given the circumstances he put himself in, what an amazing look at survival at its finest. I am certain, if you put 100 individuals in the same situation, very few (if any) would have been able to do what he did-cut off his own arm or even fathom to do so. Suffering from loss of blood, dehydration, sleep deprivation, and possible infections would realistically be a deal breaker for most. It’s just the truth of the matter. Some can withstand more than others. Some have a louder voice inside their head, and a survival instinct that is more prominent. It’s just how we’re built. I’m sure of it.
Now, migrating beyond the story and to the movie itself. James Franco DID do a great job in this role. I have always liked him as an actor. Watching his characters transform on-screen into identifiable beings that I am able to connect with on a core level, is something I always find fascinating to watch. With this movie, it is no different. Sure sure, at first the movie itself didn’t appeal to me, hence why it has taken me a year to see this film, but after deciding to go ahead and give it a go, I am really glad that I did.
This movie transformed my afore thinking of, ‘well, this guy put himself in this situation, fully knowing he wasn’t telling anyone where he was going or what he was doing. He made his bed and now has to sleep in it’ type deal, to my now present way of thinking which is, ‘yeah, this guy was stupid. not telling anyone anything about what his plans were. Though despite that, don’t we all make mistakes?’ To speak elitist and say “no,” is to completely disconnect with our humanity.