Danny Boyle's "127 "Hours"
Movie review of Danny Boyle's "127 "Hours"
Director: Danny Boyle Cast: James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn The year 2003 saw Aron Ralston,a 27 old hiker trapped beyond escape in a narrow niche in the Blue John Canyon in Utah, his right arm jammed against the rock wall by a boulder. He penned his ordeal in his memoir "Between a Rock and a Hard Place." He finally manages to escape his five-day tribulation by amputating his hand. 127 hours is based on this real life story. Danny Boyle transforms this into a thriller where James Franco delivers a flawless performance. During the process, the protagonist also embarks on a spiritual rediscovery of himself. In flashback moments during his misfortune, he recalls his insensate attitude towards his parents, his know-it-all outlook to life. Aron refuses to disclose to his mother the place of adventure that day, but had he done so, he would not have found himself in a 'tight spot'. The prelude to the ordeal has him guiding two hikers who are not sure of themselves. Aron appears to be in a smart-alecky stance too sure of himself, as he guides them. His refusal to depend on others and the overconfidence is reiterated through various instances. His colleague quips "Have a great one", as he starts off; he blatantly claims "I always do." At one level, the story depicts the conflict between Man and God; at another between Science and Nature. Man as he tries to overcome all hurdles with technology finds himself in an irredeemable and irremediable fix. The failure of science is first emblematized by the falling of the microphone as he gets trapped. Also, in the surrendering of all his gadgets on a stone that at the moment served no purpose at all. Man's insignificance against God is symbolized in the overhead shot that shows him to be a tiny speck against the vast background of Nature. At the instant, the meanest of creatures like an ant possesses more freedom and mobility than he does. Under such circumstances, his fearless solitude is transformed into utter remorse as his 'hamartia' turns out to be his audacity. At a point, he looks at his own moments of desperation in the video camera that has recorded his trial. The scene represents his objective appraisal of his own self. The remembrance of the wild nights, insensitive attitudes come back in delusions. He cringes at the callous disregard of his mother, and now the desperate need for the same. Aron now craves for the slightest sign of life. He cherishes now the basic necessities of life, and a poignant scene has him drinking his own blood and urine. The theory of the survival of the fittest held that to exist, people drank the blood of others. Here, his utter desperation makes him suck on his own. There is a comic relief scene towards the end where he pictures himself on a peppy morning talk show. This, while it does alleviate tension, also highlights the tragedy by contrast. People awaiting death; normally get visions of their childhood. However, human spirit ultimately does triumphs here. The passion to be alive is so strong in him that he cuts off his hand in a rare feat of fortitude. The movie thus underlines Man's unbeatable resilience. To quote Hemingway "Man can be destroyed but not defeated."
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