Barber, S. 2010) Throughout this film, an unbelievable but true story is told through amazing acting, editing sound, and all other components of cinematography while debating on what drastic measures he is going to have to use if he wants to save his own life. Ralston story begins as continues in chronological order when he is on his lone expedition through canyons near Mob, Utah. (Amid. Com) Often going alone, and some may say being reckless searching for his adrenaline fix; conferring is something he was familiar with and never imagined himself fighting for his life. Barber, S. 2010) Dislodging a boulder that wedged his and and forearm in a deep canyon brings Aaron to determine if he is going to escape and live or die there. He examines his life over the next S days (hence the title, he was trapped a total of 127 hours) reminiscing and drifting back thoughts, memories, and flashbacks of family, former lovers, and both old and new friends and even a premonition of an unborn son. While his body is continually shutting down, he makes a drastic decision: he wants to live.
To do so, fighting both an internal and external conflict, amputating his arm is his only option out. Dehydrated and malnourished by now, he fulfills the Lloyd and gory act. Almost in disbelief, he looks at himself for a minute, and then continues his journey. Wrapping his arm into a handmade sling, he finally reaches the surface and wearily travels for help. Running into hikers begging for food and water, he is saved. The acting of James Franco is nothing other than remarkable. Some may even say that this was the best performance of Franc’s career.
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Mostly a method actor, or impersonator, he is playing the role of someone else in the film. He engages himself into a serious position and pursues all of the different emotions that Ralston OFF describes. From being scared and panicked to calm and thinking critically on how to save his life, Franco does not hold back. The scenes where he is panic stricken easily shows on Franc’s face; for example, when he realizes he cannot move and is not getting out, he screams for help. The sweat pouring from his face, the redden cheeks, and heavy breathing are all signs of panic which he prominently shows.
In the calmer scenes, especially those that show him thinking rationally on how to get out or rigging a new contraption to escape, the concentrated look on his face and the tightened brows shows a different level of acting. Going from this one extreme to another seems almost effortless for Franco. Although he did not actually lose a limb, the filming was painful which left him with bodily scars and was ultimately more of an “experience” in life and less of a facade enduring both the physical and exhausting pain during the filming. (Huffiest Entertainment. 2011) The editing of the film is interesting.
The direct cuts of Ralston filming himself behind a hand held camcorder and jumping back showing the entire scene shows a different sense of lighting and camera angles. The lighting changes with the passing of the days as well. The desert is extremely dark at night and very bright during the day so those changes are significant for him to plan his escape. Almost making it as a documentary style, Bayle uses the night lighting, which turns to greens and blacks, from the camcorder to show how Ralston continues to talk to himself, keep track of time, portion his water and food rations, and how the slow escape unravels.
Revealing all of his plans that were unsuccessful and fruitless to the camera, the angles of that camera make it easy to see where he is positioned and how almost impossible an escape would be, especially while alone. Not being able to see much for most f the film, the crevice where Ralston is lodged is very deep but narrow. The most visible things are the top of the crevice, the huge boulder, and the walls of the crevice. It almost gives the audience a sense of claustrophobia to see what little space Ralston had to survive in for more than five days.
When the flashbacks begin, the scenes dramatically change. For instance, a memory of a little five year old Aaron with an old living room set reminds him of his childhood and a scene with an old lover in a car full Of friends both remind him of happier times and what there could possibly be more to live for. Many of these scenes are extreme close ups to regular close ups of his face due to the camcorder shots. These are all only a minute to two long. Medium shots are used when showing the surroundings inside the crevice and then, after the escape, medium long shots are used.
Only a few times are long shots used; mainly to show the large area of desert he is traveling in the very beginning and then after the escape. Almost the entire film is in single dialogue with Ralston either talking to himself or the camera he is holding. He counts down his water level, counts up the hours, and determines how long e can survive based off of his supplies. The only time this changes before he escapes is in the previously mentioned flashback scenes of when he was a little, or when he thinks back to a former girlfriend, and when he is partying with friends.
After his escape, the conversation is minimal with him saying very few words due to how weak he is. This is important for both the audience but also for Ralston to keep his sanity and to “remind him not to pass out. ” (Abraham, P. 201 0) The admitted “back and froth’s” he had with himself about the only alternative he has next to suicide, cutting his own arm if, he described as being a “surreal conversation” with himself. (Abraham, p, 201 0) The most vivid sounds are the breaking of Ralston own bones. In the quiet of the desert, the screams that follow echo very loudly.
The rushing of the water in the flooding scene leave hope for escape and the quietness is significant in reminding him that he is truly alone. With regards to societal impact, there is almost no censorship present. Ralston himself said this film is “so factually accurate it is as close to a documentary as you can get and still be a drama. ” (Abraham, P. 201 0) The graphic and bloody scenes are not edited out and are shown just as they would happen. From taking the multi- tool knife and trying to cut his own skin, to using that same knife and stabbing his arm, it is all shown.
This would not so much be a controversial issue, but a moral one. What dramatic measures would you take to save your own life? It would all individually depend on situation and circumstance along with will to live, of course. 127 Hours fits in the genre off drama film. Being drawn as a documentary, the emotional factor involved with real life characters places it in this genre. Ralston is at a crucial moment in his life which places him eternally between life and death. The tragic resolution to his problem is either die where he is at or to amputate his own limb.
Ultimately choosing the latter, the film has a happy ending but changes his life forever. To analyze this film, the best approach to use would be the Formalist approach. Here, film form is important and how the basic elements are organized. (Goodnight, 2011 ) The use of the camera involves the audience into Ralston story and focusing in on the objects that surround him, like the huge boulder he is using as a shelf, the climbing gear, his water and food portions, and the camcorder are al considerable pieces of miss en scene. Without these pieces, parts of the Story would fall apart or not be as substantial as they should.
From using the camera, lighting, and angles to highlight the highs and lows of Aaron Ralston journey, using the word tragic does not seem appropriate. Losing a limb by amputation of your own is a drastic tale but when it is a true story based on a man’s real life actions, it almost seems unbelievable. Director Danny Bayle makes it all too real in this film and using a documentary-drama is the perfect way to do so. Key pieces of the story were all held true to the real thing and thou the cinematic techniques used, this would not be achievable.