127 Hours (2010)
" Don't lose it. Aron, do not lose it." -Aron Ralson
127 Hours is director Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Aron Ralston’s book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. It tells the real-life story of that fateful week in 2003 when Ralston got trapped in a Utah Canyon for *spoiler alert* 127 hours, and the lengths that he went to in order to survive.
In the film, 127 Hours, Ralston is portrayed by James Franco in what I would argue is the best performance of his career, earning him a best actor Academy Award nomination. He takes up the majority of the screen time but still manages to craft Ralston into an engaging character; a reckless, carefree adventure seeker who is forced to confront his mortality, frequently in closeup while recording the entire ordeal with a video camera, essentially including the audience in his experience. We witness him going through several stages, and see the effects on his mental state as the situation gets more desperate, supplies start running low, and exhaustion and delerium start to set in. Now, for those of you who haven't seen this movie, you've probably heard of it or at least have a passing knowledge of Ralston's story. It has somewhat of a negative reputation for one extremely graphic scene (which in all fairness only lasts for about 2 minutes of it's 94 minute run-time), but there's way more to it than that. 127 Hours is challenging to watch but ultimately uplifting if you can make it through. It is a harrowing depiction of the willpower and determination that one man found when he dug deep down in his soul and saw what he was made of.
This movie had me consider several things. With some of the other movies that I've picked, I have been able to draw parallels between themes mental toughness as it pertains to fighting, something that we as Muay Thai students have the option of engaging in. But 127 Hours presents a situation in which a regular guy who had no idea what he was going to go through when he woke up that morning. So I ask you to consider this. Would you do what it takes to survive? Hard question to answer. It is easy to say what you would and wouldn't do in Ralston's position but it is impossible to know for sure what would happen if it was happening to you. Similar to a fight that you are watching from the crowd, the armchair critics can run their mouths and talk trash, but when it comes right down to it, they don't actually know. It's different when it's you, and only those who have been through it can know.
127 Hours is not on Netflix, sorry, but I still encourage you to sit through it if you can find it. Also, Aron Ralston's book Between a Rock and a Hard Place is available at the YMT library.