My experience of watching the movie “127 hours” has been, for lack of a better word, harrowing. It took me much more than 2 hours to finish it actually. I started watching it, but had to pause repeatedly to take a break, breathe easy, drink some water, feel better, and wipe off the sweat. Then when I could take no more of the mental exhaustion, and I was not even half way through the movie, I fell asleep. I woke up the next morning and finished watching it, after more breaks, deep breathing, drinking water, and fast forwarding the gory parts of the movie.
So does this mean you should watch the movie, or does it mean you should not watch the movie?
Good question. The movie is so good that you will not be able to take your eyes off it. however, parts of it is so gory that you will wish you had not watched it. I have a weak stomach, I often fall sick at the sight of blood, and cringe in pain when someone gets hurt. You can imagine my condition here.
For the uninitiated, this is a movie based in my favorite place, Utah, telling you the true story of a man who loved outdoor activities (another thing I relate to), and often went alone for canyoneering without leaving behind a note. On one such occasion, he happened to be out there in the rocks, when his right hand got trapped under a loose boulder while jumping off a crevice. Unable to get help or take the boulder off his hand, he is stuck in the claustrophobic space, standing by a boulder, for 127 hours. How he survives those 127 hours, with limited water, no food, and harsh weather conditions, is astounding. What he does to free himself thus is another story. The good news is, unlike the movie “Into the woods”, he doesn’t die here. The bad news is, in order to survive, he cuts off his right hand with his blunt pen life out of desperation. I am cringing again as I write this post, to think that this is not fiction, but a true story. It is something to be sick, go to the doctors, and to be operated under anesthesia. It is something else to make a decision about whether you want to be stuck in between a rock and die, or bear the pain of chopping off your hand, without pain medication, and free yourself. We often watch supernatural and horror movies, to be scared by things which do not happen in our conscious space of existence most of the time. This movie will make you feel the same horror, at a magnified level, out of a true incident that could have happened to anyone of us. You will realize that sometimes fact can be way scarier than fiction.
To write a review about the movie is pointless here, of course the movie was well made, depicting every nuance, with great attention to detail, the fear when he realizes he is trapped, the pain, the desperation, the hallucination and comatose state after going without food or water for days, the survival strategies he is forced to take. It is in moments like this that I realize how small and fragile I am, compared to nature. If a rock can cause this much havoc, surely we are nothing compared to the power of things around us. By the time I was done watching the movie, I was crying, sobbing, unable to stop myself. To think of all the pain this person went through, and his self-determination and instinct to survive, is amazing. Honestly, I do not know what I would have done under such a situation. God forbid someone gets into such a situation.
Watch the movie, if you can take the sight of pain and blood. It will be a good reminder of your smallness compared to the world around you. Ever since I watched it, which was 3 days ago, I have subconsciously touched my right arm on multiple occasions, trying to feel the bones, the joints, and the flesh. I am thankful I have my limbs intact. And I am also thankful I fast forwarded the scenes where he chops off his arm. I don’t think I will ever have the courage to watch it.
Next, I am hunting for the book it was based on. Anyone has read it?
I salute you Aron Ralston. I bet you never thought a rock that came out of nowhere would change your life so much. I couldn’t have done what you did. Your indomitable spirit, courage, and determination are worth many such salutes.