127 Hours

by Belinda Munoz on February 7, 2011

I’m sure I’ll be Monday morning quarterbacking about the SuperBowl, the half-time spectacle complete with human glowsticks, and the Dorito-dipped fingers commercial. But not here. I watched an even more compelling show this past Sunday. Thanks to director Danny Boyle and local Palo Alto talent James Franco, the movie 127 Hours will be keeping me off large rocks for a while.

127 Hours is a breathtaking film about Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who tells of his experience being trapped alone in a crevice of a remote canyon in his autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Boyle, the self-proclaimed cinematic Hollywood outcast who brought us the wildly successful Slumdog Millionaire, draws out a magnificent Oscar-nominated performance from Franco. Set in the majestic canyons of Utah, Franco explores complex human emotions from cocky determination to delirious desperation when Ralston loses his physical freedom during a fall that leaves one arm pinned between a loosened boulder and a canyon wall.

As a viewer, I was pulled into Ralston’s harrowing vortex of an adventure as his sanity and physicality are stretched to treacherous edges. Certain scenes knocked me out of my comfort zone visually and literally squirming in my seat, preferring to bite my fingernails and plug my ears instead of being subjected to further graphic and mental assault.

How badly would you want a second chance? What would you be willing to do in order to survive? Are you mentally and physically prepared to choose between two objectionable options? Ralston didn’t have the luxury of time to answer such questions in that cold and hidden spot during those gruesome hours. Me? The movie confronted me with similar existential questions. I’d prefer these questions to be hypothetical and not requiring urgent attention, though in cases of illness or accident, we don’t always get to choose. For now, I am thankful to have a lifetime to try and get the answers right.

Seen any memorable movies lately?
Image by IvyMike

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ayala February 7, 2011 at 5:54 am

I am intrigued and this film is going on my watch list. I agree with you that I’d prefer these questions to be hypothetical. We never know what we would do until we are presented with a situation as such.


2 TheKitchenWitch February 7, 2011 at 7:22 am

I’ve been avoiding that movie because I’ve heard that it’s incredibly graphic and nerve-wracking. I’ve heard it’s also wonderful, though.


3 rob white February 7, 2011 at 7:26 am

It certainly gives pause to question if we really mean it. Are we willing to do whatever it takes? The human spirit is indomitable… it is important to realize that we all have the urge to express and participate fully in life.


4 BigLittleWolf February 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

I don’t do well with films of this sort these days. As for the “objectionable choices” as you say – do we ever really know what we would do to survive?


5 [email protected] from a Peaceful Divorce February 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I loved that movie and also saw it this weekend. I’m planning on blogging about it soon because it really put adversity into perspective. The way in which he re-evaluates his life choices and thinks of happy moments to keep him motivated was very touching. There are so many similar life moments when death, divorce, job loss, health problems, etc seem to threaten our very existence. This man really demonstrated what one human being can do to overcome devastation.


6 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri February 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Belinda: My husband saw this movie and thought it was well done. I haven’t seen it but the story line reminded me of Into the Wild, a heartbreaking story that left an impression on me for days. 127 hours is definitely on my list. The last two movies I saw were absolutely horrible so I won’t share them in this space.


7 Patty - Why Not Start Now? February 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I love moving-watching season, Belinda, and this one’s on my list, although I have to admit I’m not sure I’m brave enough to see it. But what a great story it is. In answer to your question, I’ve seen two great movies this past week: The King’s Speech (at a theatre) and The Kids Are Alright (on DVD). I adored them both; movie heaven for a movie lover. I also saw a movie that’s a few years old – Me and Orson Welles. Perfect for anyone who’s a theatre lover/fascinated with the 1930’s.


8 Giulietta Nardone February 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hi Belinda,

I love movies, too! 127 hours is on my list. Hard to say what I’d do if I had such a Sophie’s Choice – my arm or my life without my arm. If I had the guts and tolerance for pain, probably my life. Am obsessed with coal mining and mountain top removal these days, so I watched Matewan, an old movie from the 80’s. The way we treated these miners and continue to treat the folks of Appalachia by giving them a non-choice of one economy has me writing about it everywhere. Am into documentaries lately because they keep me politically and emotionally awake.

I was sleepwalking through my 20’s and early 30’s and now that I’m awake I want to stay that way … Good post! G.


9 Charlotte Rains Dixon February 8, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I love the movie, too. I was a bit nervous to see it, but truly, the graphic and gruesome part is only a few minutes and a very small portion of the film. Definitely worth watching for the spiritual message. And, as a writer, I admired how the filmmakers handled the story, including that nice little twist at the end.


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