127 Hours by Danny Boyle has been nominated for 6 Oscars including Best motion picture and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role and its easy to see why. The movie is based on the true story of Aron Ralston.

A devil may care attitude and a self-gratifying approach to life literally lands him between a rock and a hard place.The movie begins on a breezy note and the music and the fast paced tempo of the initial fifteen minutes or so are deceitfully light. Aron’s life  seems to be perfect with a solitary excursion into the Canyons of Utah.The biking,the hiking and running into two gorgeous hikers make his lifestyle seem pretty enviable. He leads them to a space between two rock walls and shows them that by just letting go they would fall into a clear pool of water a hundred or so feet below.The exhiliration is contagious and as he recounts tales about the nomenclature of the canyon being influenced by Blue John from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid all is hunky dory.

As the two female hikers leave with an invitation for a party he continues his exploration of the canyon.Thats when his troubles begin as a rock dislodges and traps his right arm underneath itself.

Then begin the 127 Hours mentioned in the title as he struggles to extricate himself all the while battling water scarcity,hallucinations ,cold weather conditions without any warm clothing,etc. The premise does not seem to leave much scope for entertainment or an engrossing movie but Danny Boyle with skilful cinematography and surreal imagery has managed to make it a highly engrossing movie. As some have put it he has shown how to make a movie out of a seemingly unfilmable story.

Aron has his ups and downs.Initially he kicks and pushes the rock to no avail.He builds a pulley using his climbing rope and tries to pull himself out.He has a pocket knife that he uses to chip the rock in efforts to extricate his arm. They are moments where you subconsciously root for him knowing fully well its a movie and not a live happening.e.g. The time when he drops the knife and tries to retrieve it.

As he runs out of water supplies and starts to lose hope he starts documenting his last thoughts and farewells on the video camera he has.His entire life flashes before his eyes.The love filled childhood, his lack of responsiveness to his mother’s calls,lost love, his own aloofness that diminished any chances for rescue.

Even with death in the background the magnificience of the nature around him does not escape his notice.His feverish mind looks for the raven at a fixed time each morning.With the passage of time he is forced to drink his urine for sustenance and in one of his recording sessions he says that in choosing not to inform anyone of his whereabouts he had an Oops!! moment.

The eventual horrific action that allows him to survive can be foreseen but is repulsive just the same. But his fortitude is inspiring and despite the seeming impossible odds he survives.(a spoiler ? maybe)

I found the movie engrossing and inspiring.The soundtrack complements the movie and the song If I rise by Dido has been fittingly nominated for an Oscar.(at least in my view). The acting by James Franco is extraordinary.No wonder some rate him the best among the new brood of actors( Pineapple Express,Milk and Freaks and Geeks being his noteworthy roles according to my recollection).

Its an uplifting movie despite some sordid details and I would definitely recommend a watch. Rate it-8.5/10

A dialogue that stuck in my head-

Aron-  You know, I’ve been thinking. Everything is… just comes together. It’s me. I chose this. I chose all this. This rock… this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. It’s entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. In space. It’s been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I’ve been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface.

P.S.- Had a unique and hilarious movie experience tonight.The theatre put Paranormal activity 2 instead of 127 Hours and everybody was bewildered for 15 minutes as to whats going on?? Yes 15 minutes before we realized that the movie being screened was not in fact 127 Hours.The cat calling and jeers that ensued were good unexpected bonuses to the movie experience!!!

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