Over the days and nights of his ordeal, Ralston relies on his camcorder and his watch as his only means of keeping in touch with reality. From the depths of despair he rises to the occasion, presenting brief humorous descriptions of his situation and reflections on friends and family for those who might eventually find him.
Boyle uses these and other devices from his considerable repertoire to keep the film moving, cutting from dream to flashback to video footage and back to reality. The camera constantly explores — sometimes from Ralston’s perspective, at others rising high into the desert sky for magnificent panoramas. Although 127 Hours never escapes the narrow confines of one man’s story, it is a magnificent piece of cinematic orchestration that manages to be gripping for all of its 95 minutes.