Friday, February 18, 2011

2-18-11 127 Hours

Just got back from seeing 127 Hours, so I haven't really had a lot of time to process it, but here's an immediate reaction:

Like going to see Titanic, the point is not to discover "what happens" but to ponder one person's human spirit in the face of overwhelming circumstances, and to futilely attempt a comparison -- could I have done the same?

(I will tell you point blank, I highly doubt it, and not because I doubt the indomitableness of my human spirit, but because only someone in top physical shape with a very specialized set of skills would have made it to day 5 in the first place.)

So James Franco is amazing, because we're stuck with him, alone, for more than an hour, after the first 20 minutes of the film where his charming self-reliance is on display, as his cockiness withers away as he realizes the reality of his situation and he is completely believable.

And what comes to him the most in his exhaustion and hallucinations is childhood and love. It reminded me of all those tragic calls from the Twin Towers on 9/11 -- in those last, crucial moments, what people always do, is tell the people who matter how much they love them.

Was the scene where he finally cuts off his own arm gruesome? Of course. I'm lucky not to be squeamish, so it wasn't something I needed to turn away from, but the man has to break both bones (and not at the same time) and then saw through the flesh, tendons, and nerves with, after five days of stabbing at the rock that has him pinned, with what amounts to little more than that nail file tucked inside your nail clippers. It's not for the faint of heart. But, then, that's precisely why you should go see the movie. Because it's not about how awful the amputation must have been, but how a man can do anything in his power to survive, fueled by his desire to really live.

Two thumbs up.


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