I’ve seen this film once before but as I really enjoyed it the first time I decided to re-watch it. The film is done in a biographical drama style highlighting the amazing survival story of Aron Ralston (played by James Franco) who became trapped by a boulder in a deep canyon in Robbers Roost in Utah. One of the main issues was that he didn’t tell anyone where he was going !
The story begins when Ralston rides across a desert type setting aiming to cut 45 minutes off his journey. By chance he bumps into two female hikers Kristi (Kate Mara) and Megan (Amber Tamblyn) who claim that they are lost. Ralston deceives them pretending that he is a trail guide leading them through narrow canyons. They part company, the two women invite him to a party that evening doubting that he will attend.
He continues into Blue John Canyon alone the climb is dangerous as huge boulders are wedged loosely into the walls of the rock. One falls upon him trapping his arm onto the Canyon wall. The filming is very clever, all goes quiet and the viewer automatically realises that Ralston is in shock.
He is trapped yet is determined to escape he begins chiseling away at the rock with a knife, however this plan completely fails. Over the 127 hours that he is trapped he used his camcorder to keep a video diary. As he realizes his efforts to chip away at the boulder are futile, he begins to attempt to cut into his arm, but finds his knife too dull to break his skin. He then stabs his arm, but realizes he will not be able to cut through the bone. He finds himself out of water and is forced to drink his own urine. His video logs become more and more desperate as he feels himself dying. He begins dreaming about relationships and past experiences.
As things become extremely desperate he makes a tourniquet for his arm and attempts to cut through his flesh, this fails. The weather conditions worsen and he is almost drowned by flooding in the canyon caused by the torrential rain. In a dream we see him escape and his girlfriend reject him, but alas…it was just a dream!
He takes the plunge and once again attempts to cut off his own arm !! This time his is successful. It’s a moment which is NOT for the squeamish/faint hearted. He escapes and is helped by some kindly passers-by immediately being taken to hospital. Ralston lived to tell the tale and is now happily married continuing to go on his daring expeditions however now he ALWAYS tells people where he is going !!
James Franco is a wonderful actor and seems to be doing very well for himself in Hollywood. I first saw him in the 2006 film “Tristan and Isolde” I ❤ that film I may have to write a blog post about that soon. I also love “Docu-drama” type films, this film reminds me slightly of “Touching the Void” which was another adventure type film about Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, the story of the two climbers who faced a VERY challenging journey when climbing the Andes way back in 1985 !!
It’s a film that I’d recommend to watch however I’d avoid it if you’re squeamish as parts of the film are not for the faint hear-ted…Enjoy!