by David Schuster
I'll tell you right up front that "127 Hours" is not for the squeamish. This is a true story and if you're familiar with it you know what I'm talking about. The whole movie builds to the point where the main character has to do what is necessary and you just wonder how will they portray it, and will I get sick watching it?
Since this is a true depiction there is no use getting around the plot. This is the story of Aron Ralston who went hiking and cliff climbing out in Utah only to get caught in a crevice with his arm pinned down by an unmovable boulder. For the next 127 hours he tries everything imaginable to escape without doing what he knows he'll ultimately have to do. Ralston is played by James Franco, who is perfect for the role. Like Ralston, Franco is tall and athletic and his personality is on the funky side much like the character he plays. In other words this guy is a free spirit. Sort of reminded me of former pitcher and current baseball announcer Mitch Williams.
Ultimately, what Ralston had to do was cut part of his arm off, so as to free himself from the clutches of that boulder. Obviously it was a last resort thing and that's one of many reasons for the duration that he was in that crevice, and thus, the movie's title. Finally, after the build up he starts the amputation and thankfully it wasn't as graphic as I feared. The effect is still there and you can see the incredible pain when he has to sever the nerves in the arm, but he survives and so does the audience watching it.
Franco is pretty much a one man band in this movie, and obviously so. There are a few other people in the movie at the beginning and the end, but he's all alone in that crevice for the five plus days, and the survival techniques shown will amaze and sicken you at the same time.
I can't say that I absolutely loved this movie because at times it's hard to watch, but I do give high marks to how it was filmed, and how they showed the courage and determination of this amazing person. In his own right, Ralston is an athlete who conquers many frontiers, and for that and for the subject matter I give it a run-scoring double - two and a half stars.