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127 Hours - The Capability of Man When Struggling to Survive

Updated on March 15, 2011

Yesterday I watched the amazing movie “127 Hours” and I must admit it moved me deeply. The movie shows how a certain situation affects somebody and how strong the will of surviving can really be. So I decided to write not just a review about the movie but also an analysis about the background, the acters and the reason why 127 Hours was one of the most important movies of the last year.

127 Hours is based on the True Story of Aron Ralston, an adventurer, climber and nature lover, who accidentally got trapped in a lonely Canyon in the middle of nowhere, namely the “Blue John Canyon” in Utah, USA. The following 127 Hours describe his struggle to survive and the way he felt during this time. Ralston examines his life and realizes what really matters, while his will to survive keeps his hopes up and finally gives him to the strengths to do the impossible.

There are several problems Aron has to face while he is trapped in the Canyon. The most obvious one is the big rock trapping his arm in the Canyon and giving him no option to escape. In the beginning he is trying every possible way to free himself with the result that he has to accept that there is no way to escape because the Rock is too heavy and even scratching his way out of the Rock with a small knife is not possible.
Moreover Aron did not tell anybody about his hiking trip, which meant to him that nobody would look for him. This is something Aron regrets a lot and this is a lesson he learnt, while he was down in the Canyon.
The next big struggle is his food and drink supply, which is close to not existing. He planned a trip for one up to two days and all what he has left is a small bottle of water, an almost empty drinking system and almost nothing to eat. While the days pass by his supply runs out and he is even forced to drink his own Urine, which is in itself an unnatural thing but in his case it might have given him some time.
The lack of food and water finally lead to hallucinations, which starts from paranoia and the fear to die. Aron even hallucinates escaping, just to realize that he is still trapped and that there is no way out.
Probably the most extraordinary scene takes place in the end and for those who have not seen this film you might jump this part of the review, in case you do not want to hear something you do not know at the moment. In this scene he cuts off his own arm. After breaking the arm, he cuts himself through with a small and not really sharp knife. This scene especially shows that the will to survive can make people do extraordinary things like this. The pain and his struggle are shown in a unique and electrifying way. The audience can experience how hard it is to do such a thing and how everybody hopes never to be in a situation like this.
Unfortunately this is not the end. Although the worst part is over, Aron still needs to climb down the canyon to get to a water source and walk several miles before he finally encounters people who help him getting rescued.

While Aron is trapped in the canyon, he recalls several Persons who played a role in his life. There are friends, family, and finally the last two persons he met before he got trapped, which were two fellow hikers. Aron experiences certain feelings and memories to every single of these persons.
Aron thinks of his family as a power of strengths. These are the persons he misses most and he determines them as the people he is willing to fight for. When he is recalling his friends, he remembers mostly the good old times in which, they had fun or experienced something special that bounded them as a group. These memories also give him strengths and Aron fears to never see them again. When Aron is thinking about the last persons he met before he fell into the Canyon, namely two female hikers, he imagined the party they invited him to and how that does not really plays a role for the two if he will ever show up or not because for them he is just one fellow mountaineer.

Main Actors

James Franco as Aron Ralston
127 Hours star James Franco was born in Palo Alto, California on April 19th, 1978 and had his breakthrough with the movie "Freaks and Geeks" in 1999. Other movies in which he has played include: “Eat, Pray, Love”, the “Spider-man” trilogy and “The Company”.

Kate Mara as Kristy
Kate Mara was born in Bedford, New York on February 27th, 1983 and had her Breakthrough in the television Series “Law & Order” in 1997. She also appeared in “Brokeback Mountain” and “Iron Man 2”.

The Director
Danny Boyle was born in Manchester, England October 20th, 1956 and had his Breakthrough with the cult movie “Trainspotting” in 1996. Additionally he became famous for his following movies like “The Beach”, “28 Day Later” and especially “Slumdog Millionaire”.


  • This year during the Academy Awards 127 Hours was nominated for several categories but did not win in one of them. The Categories in which 127 Hours were nominated were:Best Motion Picture of the Year
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
  • Best Achievement in Editing
  • Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
  • Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Aron Ralston also wrote down his experiences in his Book "Between a Rock & a Hard Place" and more over the Camera, James Franco is using to record himself in the movie is actually the exact camera Aron Ralston has used for his video diary, when he was stuck in the Canyon but the footage from that camera is of course private property of him and is not published.


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    • Ashantina profile image


      7 years ago

      Saw the promo but missed the film. Gonna check this one out on dvd :) Ta for the reminder!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      I missed the theater showing of this film but I did see some short clips. I am waiting for it to come out in dvd so I can watch it.

      Thanks for this wonderful review.

    • SamboRambo profile image

      Samuel E. Richardson 

      7 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

      I saw 127 Hours and thoroughly enjoyed it. All too often (or should I say not often enough?) life turns in a direction we never think possible or desirable.

    • TimMEy profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Buenos Aires, Argentina

      Yeah Danny Boyle is a great Director and I also saw Slumdog Millonaire and I was really touched but I was always wondering how much truth is in that movie? Can you maybe give me some insight?

    • pertibha321 profile image


      7 years ago from india

      I have seen promo and waiting for it to release in India sure going to watch this.Danny Boyle's last film slumdog millionaire was a great film too.


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