Aron Ralston (Franco) is a mountain climber who ends up trapped by a bolder and must go to extreme lengths in order to survive. We are taken on the very personal journey with Aron, and get to know exactly how he is feeling trapped where no one can hear him.
Aron didn’t really help himself as he had not told anyone where he was actually going. So when he did not return after the weekend no one had any idea where he was. Obviously a massive mistake, especially when his weekend involved rock climbing and dangerous activities. Something to learn from Aron, definitely. I guess another could be not to do activities like that alone!
You can imagine being trapped and in a very confined space for such a long period of time to start driving you mad. He was hallucinating which could very well of kept him going for longer. At times it was quite difficult to establish what was real and what he was just fantasizing about. The tricks your mind will play on you whilst becoming hungry and thirsty is shown in great detail, this also adds to the trauma of being trapped. Psyching yourself well and truly out.
Obviously, we all go into this film knowing that to escape Aron has to cut off his arm. The build up to this scene really does start quite early on. We have two false alarms of that he is going to cut his arm off, he begins to try once with the very blunt pocket knife he has which does not even leave a real mark on his skin. Then within his trauma he stabs himself with the knife. But when we get to the arm amputation scene nothing can prepare you for the spine numbing sound of Aron having to break his arm twice! I actually did make a noise myself when that occurred. The arm cutting part was also pretty difficult to watch, too difficult for a man sitting a few rows in from of myself as he actually fainted!
It helps bring up the question, could you cut off your arm in order to stop yourself from dying? I guess that cannot be answered unless you are placed in that awful situation. Which I cannot imagine happens very often to many people, but still it does create a thinking point. I would think seeing this happen in the film may indeed put some people of attempting to rock climb or outdoor adventure activities. But it shouldn’t as it just helps show you things you should not do.
I found it to be a fantastic journey being stuck in the rocks with Aron very emotional yet also nice to see that human nature and thoughts of your loved ones can really keep you going in times of great need. Fantastic performance from James Franco who is pretty much alone for the entire film. You really did feel deeply for him as Aron and so happy when he eventually frees himself what looks like to be his rocky grave.