Posted on 12/11/10 01:47 AM
Almost everyone is familiar with the story of Aron Ralston. He was a rock climber that fell and got his arm crushed under a boulder. After being trapped and succumbing to lack of food, shelter, and water, he cut his own arm off in order to survive.
Director and co-writer Danny Boyle fleshes out the newspaper articles and 15 minutes of fame into a character. His back story is not very glamourous, as he is just a tad selfish and takes life for granted. With a few eye-rolling set ups (forgot to call mom, left gatorade in car, didn't bring good knife) the adventure sets off early.
From then on the inciting incident occurs and the story takes place. The horrific 127 hours endured by trying to chip away at the boulder, his hallucinations, and basically a deconstruction of his life. With flashback nods and some hallucinogenic fits, they explore his mindset and we are able to sympathize with him on a deeper level. He sees his impossible task and the consequence. He'll never get to see his family again.
Then the climax comes. If you've not heard of it before, Aron cuts off his arm after exhausting all his other futile methods. This grueling little exercise does not keep it psychological, it gets in your face and is very brutal with realistic detail.
As the ending credits roll, Aron Ralston has a new outlook on life and values it more, seeing his survival and experience as a lesson. He has transformed physically, but emotionally as well.