By: Oberst von Berauscht (A Toast) –
I want to tell you a story.It is about a man who goes out into the wilderness, alone. He has told nobody of his trip and doesn’t bring any means of communicating with the outside world.Perhaps it is ego or machismo, or simply the thrill of getting lost.One day, while he is hiking in a canyon, a boulder slips and pins his arm to the side of a sheer rock wall.The boulder is wedged in and too heavy to move.
If you said that you would snap your arm, then go to work at the ligaments and skin with a dulled knife and head home (albeit a bit less symmetric), you are probably Aron Ralston.
127 Hours recounts this true story of self-confessed stupidity and survival in the wilderness.Survival is a recurring theme in Danny Boyle’s films; Shallow Grave was about surviving betrayal, Trainspotting is about surviving (or at least escaping) the monotony of everyday life, Slumdog Millionaire was essentially a story of urban survival, 28 Days Later was about survival from non-zombie-zombies.
The opening and closing sequences of the movie are montages of people going about their daily lives.Here Aron is introduced, in stark contrast to businessmen, lawyers, moms, and dads.Instead of getting ready for work or taking the kids to school, Aron is packing for a trip to the canyon lands of Utah.
Director Boyle takes advantage of quick editing, flashbacks, and trippy effects to put you into the mind of the main character.This also keeps the film moving at a fast pace, even though it lingers on a single set for 90% of the film. The result is that you never feel boredom, and as the director also understands the inherent dark humor of the situation in many moments of the film you’ll find yourself laughing at the inescapable hand dealt by fate.
A man with a similar problem…
That isn’t to say the film is without a serious side.In fact, much of the film is devoted to the protagonist coming to realize his own selfishness led to his predicament.This character arc feels natural and is performed with bravado by James Franco, who manages to carry the film literally alone.For that he deserves some love come Oscar time.
I cannot think of a single reason to have a second beer over this film, unless it is to get through the gruesome amputation scene.So I award this film the rare and coveted single beer.And as of now is my pick for best film of 2010.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: anytime split-screen is used
Take a Drink: when he cuts on his arm
Down a Shot: every time he talks into the camcorder