The Walk was made for IMax. It is a true back-story of the quirky, charismatic, passionate, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit who magically envisioned, brilliantly planned, creatively improvised and miraculously carried out, with the help of his adventurous anti-authority crew, one of the most dramatic dare-devilish stunts in New York history; walking the immense void between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
I remember the headlines on August 7, 1974, when Philippe Petit took his death-defying walk from one tower to the other and back again, and I knew the ending to his extraordinary escapade, yet I sat at the edge of my seat, my nails digging into Stewart’s arm for most of this highly intense film in which the 3-D glasses truly enhanced the experience. Philippe Petit is an inspiration for no other reason than he DID IT! And this movie was a tribute to him and encouragement to all of us who dare to do something we know is dangerous but do it anyway – mainly because nobody else has.
The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who portrayed Philippe Petit with charming wit, even though his French accent came and went a bit, Ben Kingsley in a minor role as Petit’s tight-rope walking mentor, Charlotte Le Bon as his superbly supportive girlfriend, and James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, and Steve Valentine as his idealistic team.
I genuinely appreciated the cinematic nuances and artistic style of Robert Zemekis who directed the film and also wrote the screenplay with Christopher Browne. My one suggestion, had they asked me which, of course, they did not, was to include a shot of the current lower Manhattan skyscape void of the Twin Towers, as a poignant ending.