Thursday, October 21, 2010

Real Life Is Better Than Fiction

Every now and then, I see a movie that makes me question reality. The last one: Inception. At times, I wondered if I was really awake in the theater or dreaming. I have yet to have a dream that involves a floating fight scene, but I am hopeful I'll get to do that (and come out victorious, of course)!

The latest "thinker" was a bit of a surprise. 127 Hours. Wow. Here's the trailer.

NOTE: I'm about to get into detail about this movie. If you're not familiar with the story, stop reading now. Don't be angry with me later.

Now, I am not a huge fan of James Franco. In fact, I often want to punch him in the face. He always seems to play the same type: high or bisexual (and it makes me think he's just the same in real life). But this story, a real story, was intriguing. Aron Ralston went for what should have been a routine climb in Utah's Bluejohn Canyon. The movie shows how much this guy loves adventure: he bikes for hours to get to a place where he can climb. He meets two young women who are lost and takes them on a climb. He gets them to fall through a crevice to a watering hole - repeatedly. Then, he sets off for his destination. Things go horribly wrong when he gets his arm trapped by a rock.

And here's where the movie becomes creepy.

You see, I have no sense of adventure. If there is the most remote chance that I could get hurt - even a minor injury - I am not interested. So, the idea of being in an isolated place where you can't get help? Not my idea of a good time. Also, Aron set out on a Friday night without telling anyone where he was going and when to expect him back. When he realizes that his co-worker wouldn't report him missing until mid-day Tuesday at best and that police wouldn't start looking for him for 24 hours - terrifying! I have a deal with my co-workers that if I don't show up for work and I'm not answering my phones, come to my house. I'm near-death or dead (in my case, I hope that if something happens, it's on a Sunday to increase my chances of survival - otherwise, I fear the cat - not the dog - will eat me).

No tool will help this engineer wiggle free of the large rock that has wedged him in this crevice. Also, he has no pants - just shorts - and it gets really cold at night. Aron eventually realizes his only shot at survival is to amputate his arm. Now, he's been talking to a video camera, specifically to his parents through most of this. I'm not sure if that's because it kept him from going crazy or if he just wanted them to know that he loved them. There's one scene that didn't seem to belong in the movie. I can forgive that. But the decision to cut off a body part? I cannot relate.

Watch Aron talk about how he made that decision. I would have liked to have seen that in the movie. Instead, it becomes one graphic scene that made me look away from the screen. Relief! Oh, no. He had to get out of that area with his bloody stump. He manages. He finds some hikers. Help comes and takes him away.

He's still climbing. He now tells people where he's going. Wise. I would like to think that I might get to the same mental place as Aron if I had to fight for my own survival. Maybe I'll ask myself "What would Aron do?"

By the way, James Franco was amazing in this role. If he is nominated for an Academy Award, I wouldn't be surprised. I wouldn't even mind if he won.

My recommendation: see this movie when it's released in November. Just don't get any gummy candy to snack on during the last half hour. Look past the flashy scenes at the beginning and the end that seem to have nothing to do with the story and are a reminder that the film's director was also behind "Slumdog Millionaire" (though there's no game show in this movie).
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