The Walk review
written by Souranath Banerjee
My Ratings: 4.2/5
Viewers who have vertigo will want a refund for their tickets!
How must it feel to be on the top of the world (literally); high above the sky so high with the wind and the silence as your only companions, the power of determination, the beauty of an incredible imagination becoming reality, and finally a few moments of Zen?
There is only one man who has the answer to the above question – Mr. Philippe Petit.
In his stunning book ‘To reach the clouds’ (originally published in 2002) Philippe Petit describes his daring experience as a tightrope walker who made eight crossings within one hour between the Twin towers of America (World Trade Center) on 7th August 1974.
That day, more than 100,000 people watched this incredible feat of unimaginable audacity as French street-performer Philippe Petit’s childhood dream comes true!
In his own words ‘People ask me “Why do you risk death?”. For me, this is life.’
In 2008, James Marsh‘s brilliant documentary Man on Wire was released, based on the same event – Philippe Petit’s 1974 history-making-sky-walk in New York.
And finally, it’s time for the biopic.
Director Robert Zemeckis best known for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Back to the Future series and also for his collaboration with actor Tom Hanks in films like Forrest Gump and Cast Away comes up this year with his spectacular tightrope-walker biopic, named simply The Walk.
Now the problem with biopics (specially if dependent on some specific event) is that the audience in general remembers what exactly happened in reality and thus the director’s chance of playing with the element of suspense is almost nil.
But then also, when the viewers sit on the edge of their seats thrilled and scared to death while experiencing THE famous Walk between the two towers, that alone proves the success of the director and his film.
Of course the brilliant CGI and impeccable visual effects helps a lot and Dariusz Wolski as the cinematographer has enormous contribution in the film’s success, but still Robert Zemeckis as a director has nailed this one. The drama, the tension, the courage and the fear, all executed in perfect proportions and the effect is awesome!
One other guy who is very much responsible for making the film a memorable one is Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
An actor with immense potential and many super cool past performances (in films like Mysterious Skin, (500) Days of Summer, Hesher, Inception, 50/50, Don Jon), this time he is ready to charm us with his perfect French accent, wearing blue contact lenses and a boyish smile as he plays Philippe Petit in the film.
Trained by Philippe Petit himself (and with the help of a stunt double as well) Joseph Gordon-Levitt played the part to perfection.
Other actors like Charlotte Le Bon, Guillaume Baillargeon, Ben Kingsley were all at their best.
Though essentially based on a French guy and almost all the characters in the film are French but still with the pretext of ‘practicing their English to make it better’ the dialogues are mostly in English. That’s kind of understandable though, otherwise the film would have turned into a French film!
Overall The Walk is an amazing experience, a celebration of freedom and spirit (and the loving memories of the Twin Towers); a tale of one man’s dream being fulfilled though it was an illegal and not to mention the most dangerous dream to come true.
P.S. Please watch it in 3D. One of the very few films that justifies the purpose of 3D glasses.
Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com, www.businessinsider.com