Last weekend, I saw 127 Hours at what I suppose must have been one of the only four screens in America showing it. It’s in wider release this weekend. Apparently, the rumors going around are that the “arm scene” is so gruesome people are fainting. I didn’t faint. It was tough going, but I made it through, so did The Wife, so did our friends. The “arm scene” was actually shorter than I feared it would be and its toughest part was not what I was expecting.
No full movie review here. Suffice to say that the movie was actually quite good. Short (it is a movie based on a single event, after all), bombastic (score by A.R. Rahman who rejoins Danny Boyle after their success in Slumdog Millionaire) and visually powerful (does not deter me from wanting to visit the Canyonlands). But the biggest winner has to be James Franco, who unflinchingly portrays a cocky young hiker, rendering him sympathetic while still illustrating the flaws that got him into his awful predicament. And it’s all the more interesting because, of course, it’s based on a real event.
I wonder if I would have done what the guy did. I can handle low levels of pain for a while and if the pain creeps up on me, gradually escalating, I can deal with it. But a sudden, sharp pain such as a dentist’s tool coming near a tooth nerve makes me recoil quickly and profoundly; every trip I take to the dentist for anything more than a routine cleaning leaves me feeling like a pain wimp. To inflict such pain on myself would be a great challenge — even if it came down to a choice between that and death. Hopefully I (and all of you) never have to find out and when the end does come, it will be swift, painless, and only arrive after a long and happy life.