Last Friday I finally got around to seeing the movie, 127 Hours. I had to go by myself, which I was not necessarily looking forward to, especially after hearing accounts of people who fainted or had seizures from seeing the movie. My mom thought I was even making a potentially dangerous decision by going alone, but I assured her I’d be fine. And was I ever!
The experience of seeing, 127 Hours was very much like riding on an amazing roller coaster. I equated it to my first time riding, Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, which was definitely one of the best roller coasters I’ve been on. Even though the last time I went on this roller coaster hasn’t been for years, it was still extremely memorable.
In both instances, you know what awaits you and yet, the wait is half the thrill of the ride. With the roller coaster, you can see the entire ride. Basically the whole ride is a drop with a corkscrew turn as you come down. It’s simple yet extreme. With the movie, everyone already knows the plot and the main conflict, which is also the main draw to the storyline. You know that James Franco’s character gets his arm pinned under a boulder and has to cut his arm off to survive. No tricks or gimmicks, just raw intensity. Just check out the magnitude of these two images:
Waiting in line for this roller coaster was pretty agonizing for me. The wait was similar to sitting in the theater during the previews for the movie. In both cases you aren’t exactly experiencing what you came for, but you have already committed yourself. Except, you still have a chance to duck out. You can still leave if you want to, but you stay because the anticipation is winning you over with excitement. Then the movie finally begins. I was so thrilled. I had heard about this movie weeks before it came out, and could not wait to get my chance to experience the movie. While I did not necessarily have prior knowledge about the Top Thrill Dragster before riding it, I was really looking forward to the ride. In both cases, I could not contain my nervous excitement.
From the time the movie begins, you are taken on a wild ride. I commend Danny Boyle on the opening sequence which immediately grabs your attention with the use of a catchy song and constantly changing camera angles and masterful cinematography. This opening sequence very much reminded me of his recent award-winning film, Slumdog Millionaire. Although you know the first part of the movie is just leading up to the climax, Boyle does a fantastic job keeping you in the moment and focusing on what happens in the lead-up. The opening part to Top Thrill Dragster is equally rapturing. First there’s the unexpected boost which bolts you into the ride, much like the immediate grasp Boyle uses to bring the viewer into the movie. The first half of this ride is the boost up a steep, 90 degree angle slope. While this of course goes by in a matter of seconds, and the first part of movie lasts longer, the journey is the same: just an entertaining means to get you to the climax.