I saw the Danny Boyle-directed, James Franco-starred film last night with Ash and I was not disappointed. Sure, it wasn't as eventful and engaging and moving and visually stunning as Boyle's Oscar darling Slumdog Millionaire...but that's a high bar to get over. I didn't expect 127 Hours to be as good as Slumdog, but I did expect it to have that scene.
You know, that scene...the one every great movie has. Sometimes it's when the plot comes together like when we realize Bruce Willis is already dead in The Sixth Sense, or in Shawshank Redemption (my all-time fav) when Tim Robbins finishes crawling through all that shit in the prison walls to be cleansed by the rain shower outside. Other times, it's the final scene when the theatre lights come on and everyone is crying. The final scene in Philadelphia definitely captures what I'm talking about here. There's no way you finish that movie without some tears coming out.
Well to say that I liked 127 Hours is to say that I absolutely loved that scene. It was actually a combination of both types...part because we know that the story is about Aron Ralston cutting his arm off and partially because we don't know what the meaning it all has in his life is. And to hear Ralston himself say that this wasn't just "based on a true story" in a Hollywood kind of way, but that it actually was a near-spoton depiction of the events and his feelings, really makes the final scene that much more effective.
I don't want to give away what specifically happens or what Ralston, played wonderfully by Franco, goes through, but I will say that I found myself identifying with his desire to go it alone (in the beginning of the film) followed by his realization that he can't do it all by himself (in the end). It's amazing how often people who have big imaginations and great ambitions are found to be the solo, I'll be fine by myself types. I think that's part of the reason why LeBron got so much flack for going to Miami, too...he didn't fit the mold of the John Wayne, Michael Jordan...
I myself struggle with coming to terms with my constant struggle to balance my independent willpower and drive to succeed and my true desire to be part of a team, a family. I really connected to 127 Hours because that scene jolted me (nearly to the point of breaking down) to introspection like few movies have or can.