Yes, there are some parts that are disgusting (James Franco/Aron Ralston severing his ulnar and radial nerves - and whatever other nerves are in our forearms - was a bit intense and made me cringe, but c'mon, we knew that would have to happen) and seeing ants (especially when they crawled on his face - I hate ants), but overall it wasn't as bad as I'd been lead to believe. Perhaps I have a tough stomach, or perhaps I had built it up to be so super gross that it couldn't have really measured up.
The scenery in the movie was beautiful but after seeing what "bouldering" really entails (being in really small spaces, whether you are stuck or not) I can pretty much cross it off my life list as something I have ZERO interest in attempting. I'm not really claustrophobic but I do not like being confined in small spaces, and regardless of my will to live, I probably would have gone totally mental if my arm was trapped by a boulder, resulting in me being stuck in a small space. SHUDDER.
SIDENOTE - one of the girls that Aron met and hung out with before his ordeal, the one not played by Amber Tamblyn, was played by Kate Mara, who is NFL royalty (grandparents include Timothy Mara, founder of the NY Giants, and Art Rooney, founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers) and is in a movie I can't wait to see, "Happythankyoumoreplease". ALSO, did you see that Chuck Bass's European ex-girlfriend was in the movie as Aron's ex-girlfriend? What a heartbreaker! French women - so untouchable.
This movie brings up all sorts of topics for deep discussion. For example, was he able to survive because of his will to live or was he motivated to survive so he didn't die an "anonymous" death? Some of the flashbacks that the movie highlighted were about his regret that he hadn't told anyone where he was going. He knew that if he were to stay there and perish in that space, it could be AGES before anyone found him. As mentioned, I'm not familiar with bouldering, but I don't think people would routinely go by the space he was in. Therefore he could have turned into, like one of the visions they showed in the movie, dust. This reminded me of a story in the Detroit Free Press a couple years back about all the unclaimed bodies that were in the Detroit Morgue. Some of them were unclaimed because the families couldn't pay for a proper burial, while others were unclaimed because either no one knew that person had died, or no one cared. It gave me goosebumps. I mean, even if you live your life without marrying, one would hope you'd have friends or other family members who would be there with you when you die. Even if you are truly alone, if you fall into bad health, you might end up dying at a hospital, or a nursing home: either way, you won't be ALONE. I think I need to talk about this with some good friends over some stiff drinks.
The ending of this movie, even though I knew it was going to be good since I followed the true story, was excellent. I was completely blown away by his ability to repel down a boulder to get to flat land and his ability to walk quite a distance before he found other hikers. And HOLY COW, those other hikers! COULD YOU EVEN IMAGINE if you came across a delirious person with their arm in a sling who is muttering "Stuck. Boulder. Five days. Cut off arm. WATER?" If that happened in a city like Chicago or New York, most strangers would be like "Um...good luck with that buddy!" because city folk tend to be skeptical of everyone and everything, but in the great outdoors, people are maybe a little more open-minded.
Life lessons learned:
- Let people know where you are going.
- Install a tracking device under your skin...or take a cell phone (would that even work? I know one of the rescuers said they didn't have service, but can't they still find people through their cell signal?)
- Take sharp knives when bouldering, hiking, etc., as I'd bet it'd be a little easier to cut off an appendage with a sharper knife? I hope I never, ever have to test that claim.