“I don’t think I’ve ever spent a more riveting or emotionally moving hour and a half in a theater as I did last night watching 127 Hours,” Sasha Stone wrote this morning. “It confirms that [director] Danny Boyle is a genius visually, intellectually, emotionally. He knows this film isn’t just the story of how Ralston got out of that canyon.
Rather, it’s about “that key bit of truth we all must remind ourselves of everyday. Life is not lived alone. We need each other. We need to be able to ask for help.”
Which is precisely what James Franco‘s real-life character, Aron Ralston, doesn’t believe in very strongly as the film begins. He’s no hermit but is pretty much the model of a rugged solo guy, and seems more than a little cocky about his ability to face and/or navigate around whatever tough situation that chance or nature may throw at him. Yes!
But then after putting himself into one of the worst situations any outdoor person could possibly face, he mans up and does what’s necessary. He cuts right through his arm with a nickel-and-dime pen knife, slicing through skin, muscle, soft meat, tendons and nerves, and fracturing his two forearm bones. Good effin’ God. But he does it and he lives, and watching him do this — living and screaming through it with Franco/Ralston — somehow makes you feel more alive.
Could I have done this? I don’t want to think about it. But there’s no way I’d do the lone-wolf thing in the wide-open wilderness. I’m thick but I’m not stupid. But I have to say I’m glad, very glad, for having “faced” this situation in a manner of speaking with a watching of 127 Hours. And I think I’m good for another viewing. I really think I am.