In The Walk, Robert Zemeckis illustrates the unbelievable story of Philippe Petit, the mad Frenchman that plans to do the impossible and quite outstandingly achieves – walking on a tightrope across the World Trade Centre towers. Zemeckis pushes us to the edge of our seats as he forces the audience to look down from the top of the 110 story high towers where Petit sets up his rope, and zooms down at a gravity-falling pace to face the many spectators below. The amazing cinematography gives the audience a multitude of angles of by which to view this unique experience that only Petit can claim. A true story you quite literally have to see to believe.
Petit’s dream stemmed from his 8-year-old self curiously entering a circus tent, where he first laid eyes on a tight rope act. The immense tension when he took his first step, 1,362 feet in the air, onto the rope is unlike anything I have ever seen before. The film takes us on Petit’s journey with him, from his beginnings as a street performer in Paris trying to make ends meet, through the pivotal moments of his life that lead up to his biggest performance. We get to see the array of people he meets on his journey who help him achieve his dream – and if you’re a hopeless romantic like me there’s even a little love story thrown into the mix.
Throughout the film I was enthralled and eager to know what would happen next, finding myself anxious and sad at some parts, and mesmerised and amused at others. Credit goes to a thoroughly entertaining and outstanding performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Petit, who even made the extra effort to carry out large chunks of speech in French, which made for a very convincing character portrayal. Overall, I thought it was a brilliant and up-lifting film that left me feeling motivated and inspired. I definitely recommend the watch.