Directed by Danny Boyle
Although I am familiar with the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place based on rock climber Aaron Ralston’s true story, I wasn’t automatically drawn to see a film about a rock climber trapped under a boulder until I found out Danny Boyle directed it. I always enjoyed his films because he is a creative storyteller who has always had a distinctive cinematic style. Boyle described this film as “an action movie with a guy who can’t move.” I was interested in particularly to see how he would keep us engaged through out the film with just has one main character.
Although this film was hard to watch, it touched on some very interesting philosophical ideas about the human ego. The boulder for Aaron didn’t just trap him physically but became a striking analogy for the crossroads he had reached in his life. The boulder represented an opportunity for Ralston to humble himself enough to see what’s really important in life. It gave him the foresight to see his purpose and gave him the courage to survive by any means necessary. Boyle emphasize Ralston’s emotional journey by using lots of camera tracking extreme close ups and vibrant color saturation, making you feel that you were under that boulder with him. The product placement in the film seemed to make reference to the larger role consumerism plays in modern society and emphasize how disconnect we are from ourselves. I wouldn’t say that this is my favorite film made by Boyle, but I believe he stayed true to his point of view and I will always respect his filmmaking.
Edited by Hester Bennet