Aron Ralston’s emotional journey while literally being stuck between a rock and a hard place captivated audiences through the movie “127 Hours.” It received six Oscar nominations including best picture and best actor. “127 Hours” provided viewers an opportunity to relive Ralston’s gut-wrenching experience from his perspective as the events that changed his life unfolded.
James Franco portrayed a stubborn outdoors-man Aron Ralston who, without a word, road-tripped to the Utah desert alone.
After a once-in-a-lifetime fall, Ralston spent nearly six days wedged inside a slot canyon deep in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. His right arm was lodged between a boulder and the canyon wall. Ralston was completely out of range from rescuers and left with little food and water. After a few days of rationing, Ralston ran out of both food and water. For comfort, Ralston turned to his personal video camera.
“127 Hours” follows Ralston as he assessed his situation and rationalized the possibility of death. Ralston convinced himself that he deserved to die because he did not fully appreciate his family, friends, or opportunities. At the point of desperation, Ralston used his dull multi-tool knife to amputate the lower right portion of his arm.
Within six hours of cutting off his own arm, Ralston stumbled upon a hiking family and was eventually airlifted to the hospital.
Throughout the film, Ralston drags viewers along his own emotional rollercoaster. Franco bounces from delirious game show host to inconsolable wreck. Reenactments from Ralston’s actual videos, almost verbatim, display his anguish and frustration.
One might declare “127 Hours” as a predictable, less-than-remarkable film. However, it is important to understand that this movie is intended to tell Ralston’s story as he felt when it happened. Ralston manipulated his circumstances to achieve a happy ending because, in the wilderness, only the strong survive.