Entertainment Magazine

Birds-eye View: 127 Hours

By Aravindan Ingersol @iaravindan
127 hours    Movies based on true events – harrowing accounts in particular- are most often burdened with onerous responsibilities. Apart from the need to be true to original event, they face the ethical dilemma of the extent of dramatizing a distressing event. Over-dramatizing the event runs the risk of fabricating hollow heroes out of thin air and hence being manipulative. Muting the intensity of the event, on the other hand, would evoke less interest on the original account. Danny Boyle, has walked this tight rope pretty much successfully by his subdued handling of the movie- resisting the urge to over-dramatize- and yet bringing the vivacity and energy into the frame when required.  
   127 Hours is based on the story of 'Aron Ralston', a mountain climber, whose life is jinxed by a boulder while ‘canyoneering’ in the wilderness of Utah. With very little inventory- a cheap Chinese pen knife, a rope, little food and a video camera- at hand, he faces extremely tough choices for survival.
   Aron Ralston is portrayed as someone who revels in being independent, impulsive and adventurous. Without discrediting his self grit and determination to survive, there is more emphasis, quite unusually, on the ‘human connect’- his longing for his family whom he so ignored all his life- which helps him see past the 127 hours. Danny Boyle is least bothered about us- the lesser mortals who are bound to cringe in unease, when he chooses to portray graphic visuals of a hostile Chinese pen knife- under the guise of saving him- discovering and puncturing the bloody tracts of the limb of Aron Ralston. The comic interludes – Aron Ralston’s delusions, especially the ‘Scooby Doo’ behind him in the dark, the  radio show that he mimics mocking his own recklessness, and his filming of his supposedly ‘last few hours’ with a video camera, etc – lets some steam off an otherwise intense survival drama. Rahman’s pulsating music kindles passion and vigour - so essential for a movie that underscores ‘heroic triumph’. 
   Aron Ralston is not made out to be a super hero; he is just as human as we all are. Only that he had a lot- and hell of a lot- of courage to do what he did to survive.

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