As this whole excruciating experience unfolds, it quietly begins to serve as a powerful metaphor about the dangers of a life lived alone.  Even if yours is filled with thrills and excitement, as Ralston's was, you can quickly come to regret that singular lifestyle when you realize what and who it has kept you from—those who you love, and who love you.  Ralston's regrets aren't merely circumstantial; they're personal.  Consequently, his drive to stay alive becomes as much familial and communal as it is individual, and probably more so. 

It even reaches into the philosophical as Ralston contemplates fate and destiny.  "This rock has been waiting for me my entire life", he says in reflection, a thought that serves as another powerful metaphor of all the unforeseen challenges that cross our paths, that we weren't prepared for, and change our lives forever.  It's a telling, truthful moment when Ralston breaks free that his first instinct is to look to the heavens and say "Thank You."  A man who used to live for no one but himself finally sees his life in a much bigger, grander picture.

From there, the film steadily builds and ultimately soars to an ending of pure emotional exhilaration (fueled by Sigur Ros' rapturous song "Festival").  As cliché as it sounds, it becomes a triumph of the human spirit; to fight, survive, and not only live but to go on living, fully, to take risks and conquer fears, to truly live life to the fullest—but with others, never alone.

127 Hours takes you through the ringer, sure to elicit audible (and collective) gasps, groans, shrieks, and periodic OMGs before concluding in one cathartic exhale of relief and redemption.  It's not the kind of movie to engender multiple viewings, but one is enough to sear it into your mind forever.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol Content:  Alcohol consumed at a party.
  • Language/Profanity:  The Lord's name taken in vain.  A few "f" words.  A couple of "s" words.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  Jokes about hiking naked (though it doesn't occur).  Naked college students packed into a vehicle, although no offensive nudity is shown.  Close-up of woman in bed, face lying on man's shoulder as she caresses him.  While Ralston watches video footage of a girl (who's clothed), implication of lustful thoughts.
  • Violence/Other:  Many perils and injuries related to Ralston being trapped and injured by the boulder, and his attempts to break free.  While not always visually graphic, it's intense to watch.  Stabbing of arm.  Internal POV of the blade inside the arm.  Bloody/graphic cutting of arm.  Acid bubbling inside stomach/intestines.

 

Jeffrey Huston is a film director, writer and producer at Steelehouse Productions in Tulsa, Okla.  He is also cohost of the weekly "Steelehouse Podcast," along with Steelehouse Executive Creative Mark Steele, where they examine the latest in entertainment and discuss evidence of God in pop culture. 

To listen to the weekly podcast, please visit www.steelehouse.com
.  You can also subscribe to "Steelehouse Podcast" through iTunes.