So I was finally able to sit down and watch 127 Hours tonight. And I am very glad I did. James Franco's performance was incredible. I was reminded fondly of Will Smith in I Am Legend (despite the butchering of the ending, turning the thought provoking "legend" into a literal "legend." Just hate Hollywood sometimes). The single actor having all the screen time, really having to sell the film, just him. It was a great exhibit of Franco's acting abilities for sure. The short span of the stages of grief was expected but nicely done, not over the top. He can convey so much emotion with just a simple facial expression or a particular cue of body language. The film starts out happy enough, and gives a glimpse of the happy man he is. As the story unravels though he realizes his flaws and wrongdoings in his life. He calls himself selfish and expresses regret.
The fight with the the need for water was definitely a strong point of the film. I became thirsty just watching this movie. He has nothing but an Algene bottle at about 800ml in the beginning. After a few days he has depleted this reserve and has to move to his bodily fluids to try to stay hydrated. The lack of water and isolation help his plunge into insanity. The descent is highlighted with his family members, his ex-girlfriend and his future son. These hallucinations trouble him and he has a moment being legitimately terrified over what could be in the darkness behind him (Scooby Doo I guess). The video taped memoirs he makes become increasingly moving. Starting out as descriptions of his current state, he then moves to confessions and apologies to his parents. The video camera ends up being a thread to the real world to gives him hope. He goes back through and watches the video made on that fateful Saturday with the two girls he met while hiking.
After (SPOILER ALERT) 127 hours he finally frees himself from the thin canyon where his arm had been caught by a rock between the canyon's wall. As he leaves his spot of isolation and glances at the wall where he carved his name, RIP, and the date of when he expected to die he mutters a line that creates the most moving part of the movie, "thank you." His entrapment caused him to reflect on his life, realize his wrongs and want to correct those flaws in himself. For it is only on the brink of the end we change (thank "The Day the Earth Stood Still" for that one). He makes it out of the canyon, a better man and does make it home.
Before the credits roll it shows us the real Aron Ralston and his wife that he met 3 years after the incident. Holding their almost 1 year old son at the time of shooting. Giving us a glimpse at the real man who lived through this tragedy. The end of the movie was incredibly powerful, you wanted to jump for joy at Franco's freedom. He suffered a great loss, but he is depicted as coming out of it a better person, spiritually at least. I loved this movie and am incredibly glad I finally sat down to watch it.