* Spoiler Warning: If you don’t know about the real life story that inspired 127 Hours then watch the film before reading this *
The gruesome details of the Aron Ralston story are actually what make 127 Hours inspirational.
Although a film featuring self-amputation might not be everyone’s idea of a breezy night out at the cinema, there is something bizarrely uplifting about the climax to the story.
When Danny Boyle’s latest film first started screening at festivals, there were reports of people fainting (or was it ingenious marketing?) and it posed something of a dilemma for those that had seen it.
Although based on a global news story, should viewers mention what Ralston (played by James Franco) had to do in order to get out of the Utah canyon he was trapped in back in 2003?
I’m guessing that by now, anyone planning to see the film probably knows what happened, but the tough, transcendent climax is actually one of the key reasons to see the film.
Furthermore, in an age when audiences lap up the most sadistic kinds of horror, is the sequence really that tough to sit through?
With that in mind, have a look at these two videos which feature the real life Ralston describing the events as depicted on screen.
First, there is this New York Times video profile, Pushing the Limit: Being Aron Ralston, which features the man himself describing the events of 2003 (along with the photos he took in the canyon) and his life since.
Then there is this extraordinary 2005 interview with Tom Brokaw from Dateline NBC, where Ralston returns to the Bluejohn Canyon in Utah and describes in detail the ‘greatest moment of his life’.
By the way, if all this is making you squeamish 127 Hours is the only film this year to feature a giant inflatable Scooby Doo.
> 127 Hours LFF review
> Aron Ralston at Wikipedia
> Read more about the NBC Nightline interview