Everyone's familiar with the story of Aron Ralston, the hiker who got his arm pinned beneath a boulder in a freak hiking accident and ended up having to amputate his trapped limb with little more than a blunt pen-knife.
That was in the summer of 2003 and since then Aron has not only become famous for what he did he's also written a book about his experience, Between A Rock And A Hard Place, which our very own Danny Boyle has adapted into the film 127 Hours and I had the pleasure of going to see today.
Fifteen minutes in and I'm thinking, okay, this is the story of a cocksure outdoorsy-type who doesn't treat those closest to him as well as he could and has the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and becomes intimate friends with a loose chock stone that ends up costing him his right arm. True, but there's a lot more to it than that.
Beneath the hiking, or canyoneering to be precise, the film is about life, what we take and what we give back and how we treat our friends and families. It's about the ills of being self-centred and caring only about ourselves but most of all it's about strength of spirit.
As the film plays we're shown a variety of flash-backs from Ralston's past as he spends his hours of solitude thinking over the key moments in his life. We see the video diary he keeps and the amusing mock interview he has with himself on an improvised talk show and there's an incredible soft-drink adverts montage but I won't spoil it for you. Finally, we see him come to the realisation that maybe what's happening to him isn't an accident, it's fate and everything he's done in his life has brought him to this point.
After exhausting every sensible option available and with the damned boulder still refusing to play nicely it takes a premonition to bring him to begin the DiY surgery. It's as gory as watching someone cut off their own arm, as you'd expect, but it makes you think: would I be able to do the same?
After freeing himself and finding help it's off to hospital for some rest, rehydration and a prosthesis fitting. I left the cinema thinking about what it must've been like to be trapped like that, coping with the loneliness and isolation and having the time to think about life and my contribution to it and therein lies the film's message: don't be a selfish bugger and call your mum once in a while!