There’s been a lot of talk about the scene in 127 Hours where hiker Aron Ralston (James Franco) cuts off his own arm. Some people reportedly passed out at screenings. Others were only able to look at the carnage through clenched fingers. Still others so dreaded the scene, they chose to avoid the film altogether.
What people don’t tell you is that, at that point in the movie, you’re absolutely dying for Aron to cut off his arm. It’s basically either arm evisceration or death. And while the scene is grisly and, yes, hard to watch, it’s also a cause for celebration. In my own mind I was thinking, “Do it! Do it!” as poor Aron dug the (dull) knife into his flesh.
I imagine that director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) never considered not showing Aron do the unthinkable deed. In fact, I’d venture to guess that the whole reason he chose to make the film was because of that scene.
After all, we’d all heard the true story of the hiker who fell into the canyon with his arm pinned under an intractable...