• Wednesday, October 01, 2014

127 Hours

When adventure turns into nightmare

Saurav Dey

Based on the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston, the film “127 Hours” is an adventure tale that soon turns into a hellish experience for the protagonist. Apart from depicting Aron Ralston's gruesome struggle for survival, it lets the audience realise the value of life. Sometimes people make mistake and realise that there is no chance of going back. It's a tale of the same sort.

Ralston (played by James Franco) is an upbeat and adventurous youth who goes on weekend hiking in the isolated canyons in Utah without informing anyone about his whereabouts. Initially his adventure goes well and audiences see awe-inspiring landscapes of the dreary canyons. He goes on to swim in an underwater cavern with two women hikers and leaves past them to head for some serious adventures.

But his adventure soon becomes a nightmare as boulders start crashing down on him and his forearm gets stuck between the canyon wall and a boulder. He remains there for more than five days, a total of 127 hours. James Franco's natural acting and Danny Boyle's mastery with the camera let the audience enter into the scene. They start experiencing the sheer horror and unbearable pain that Ralston is going through.  

The most striking characteristic of the movie is that it preys on the audiences' deep fear of being trapped somewhere and understanding that there is no way out. The audiences feel like they are cutting through their own flesh to get out of the crevice. When Ralston stumbles out to safety after cutting his right hand with a small Swiss knife, the audiences feel like they have escaped the trap with their forearms intact but hearts terrified.

The movie mostly includes one place except for some flashbacks, which also centre Franco. The cutting scene is graphic but it is Franco's screaming that terrorises the audience. It is not an ordinary tale of heroism that would simply make Ralston a hero; rather the movie sheds light on his will-power to be free. It shows a person can do anything if he wishes to. Equally it unveils the two aspects of Ralston's character. Firstly he is a bold and enthusiastic adventurer who trusts his skills and loves to take chances, and secondly his bloody-minded determination to cut through his own skin and bone to save his life.

The movie is a must-watch for adventurers and thriller lovers. This dramatic thriller will take one to the spot and put him/her in place of Ralston.

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, August 09, 2014

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