The film is based on the real-life adventure of Aron Ralston, as documented in the book Between A Rock And A Hard Place. The extreme biker and climber met with a freak accident in 2003 when his hand got trapped under a boulder during a climbing expedition in Utah. The mountaineer spent five torturous days all by himself in this life-threatening situation before he could extricate himself and reach out for help.
Danny Boyle has evolved a film narrative that is individualistic, eclectic and hard to replicate. Like the other indie folks, Danny too takes up an ordinary story to re-tell it in an extraordinary fashion. So, if Slumdog Millionaire re-invents the Mumbai metaphor like never before, then 127 Hours transforms the adventure/disaster story into a hard-hitting steroid shot.
Technically, 127 Hours is a one-man, one-line story. Adventurist Aron Ralston gets trapped under a bolder in uninhabited canyon country and remains stuck for five days with a video camera, a bit of rope, a cheap knife and a fast depleting water flask. But the genius of Boyle transforms this simple, one-dimensional human survival story into a nerve-wracking drama that never lets you leave the edge of the chair from the very first shot. So what if the film opens with Aron having harmless fun, diving and swimming with two pretty young strangers in the deserted landscape. You know there’s danger lurking behind the next boulder. The major part of the film transpires in a static situation: Ralston stuck in a straight jacket with a bolder that refuses to move even an inch. But the experience is completely dynamic. There, in those expedient circumstances, our hero reminisces about his past, introspects on his relationships, fantasies about love, imagines what he would have done at the Scooby-Do do that he was invited for, plans out his future and even holds a radio talk that is essentially a self-flagellation session. But more than all this, he utters the most important lesson he’s learnt. Never buy a Chinese knife, even if it comes cheap, with a flashlight included. The knife’s no good, neither at chipping the boulder nor at cutting bone! Hilarious.
The film is a high-spirited salute to the indomitable human spirit and a grand testament to courage and true grit. Chilling, thrilling and horrifying too, 127 Hours is enthralling cinema.