Friday, October 23, 2015

Movie Review: The Walk

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'The Walk' is the jaw-dropping true story of French high-wire artist Phillippe Petit's daring act of walking between the two then-not-quite-finished Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in 1974. The film pulls the audience into Petit's passion, dream, fear, failure, moments of success, anxiety so craftily that it becomes experiential in the glory of Imax and 3D.

Petit calls his act an artistic coup supported by a bunch of friends who believes in his talent and conviction. What happens in the course of his artistic coup and what awaits him and his co-conspirators due to this illegal act is interesting to watch.

Robert Zemeckis, the director has done a remarkable work in setting this crazy dare-devil act in motion. The film was dedicated to the victims of September 11 attacks in 2001.

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levit (Philippe Petit), Charlotte Le Bon (Annie Allix), Ben Kingsley (Papa      Rudy), Clement Sibomy (Jean-Pierre), Cesar Domboy (Jeff), Ben Schwartz (Albert), Benedict Samuel (David), Steve Valentine (Barry Greenhouse

Genre: Biographical Drama

Direction: Robert Zemeckis

Produced By: Tom Rothman, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke

Production Company: TriStar Productions, Image Movers, LStar Capital

Written by: Robert Zemeckis, Phillippe Petit, Christopher Browne

Based On: 'To Reach the Clouds' by Philippe Petit

Cinematography: Dariusz Wolski

Music By: Alan Silvestri

Distributed By: TriStar Pictures

World Theatrical Release: 9th October, 2015

Language: English, French

Duration: 123 minutes

Country: USA

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Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Robert Zemeckis has made 'The Walk' extremely spectacular that it become so palatable for the viewers to savour every thrilling moment frame by frame with the dare-devil Philippe Petit on the tight-rope balancing on it mapping the void between the twin towers.

Philippe Petit's  story is legendary by now and no actual film footage of the real act exists. 'The Walk' gives us an opportunity to be right up there with Petit and see down the whole New York become a beautiful miniature painting.

On the morning of August 7, 1947 the New Yorkers saw a man walk in mid air on a tight rope harnessed carefully around the edges of the twin towers and secured around wooden bulwarks on either side. He walks a distance of 110 ft not once but repeatedly as if he was not done with his joy of his feat and that too at a height of 1776 ft above ground. When he walks he walks and when he does his act the viewers are there on the edge of their seat with their heart in their mouth, eyes wide open, biting their nails not knowing what awaits next for Philippe Petit and for them as viewers. Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest, rightly said, "It is not the mountains we conquer, but ourselves".

Joseph Gordan-Levit has slipped into the skin of Petit with so ease that he becomes admirable, inspirational, and a true hero on screen. He is  remarkable in emoting all those feelings a high-wire walker of Philippe's stature goes through.

Ben Kingsley as Papa Rudy Omankowsky Philippe's mentor is superb. His astuteness in seeing something in the seed (Philippe) makes him a genius and sets the path for the world to witness a great high-wire artist bewitched by his artistic coup. Papa Rudy's experience and knowledge clubbed with Philippe's grit and conviction sets the tone of the film.

Petit's girlfriend Annie Allix (Charlotte Le Bon) and the other co-conspirators along with Petit go through ambiguities,  hurdles, last moment betrayals, execution failures and what not to deal with the existing system and brilliantly execute their illegal act. Their act as a team proves once again to human kind that the alchemy of collaboration can do wonders to one's own and the world's destiny.

There are some beautiful moments that makes you want to freeze them viz: when Petit assures Annie that he never encroaches the space of another artist, their romance and their camaraderie; Petit's first encounter with Papa Rudy in the circus tent, their respect for each other;  the D day and the night of risk they undertake as a team to execute the plan on the twin towers; and finally the repeated walk between the twin towers by Philippe keeps your heart beating loud and makes you keep your fingers crossed when you look down along with Petit to find New Yorkers cheering him down on the street.

In short, The Walk has everything that can keep you glued to your street and also to walkout of the theatre inspired to experiment some of your wild dreams. It also conveys that we are either born to realize our own dreams  or to be instrumental to make others realize their dream. So look within and hear your voice and decide which role you are ready to play. The Walk is for those who have a dream and also to those who are still trying to figure out what their dream is. So go and watch.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 4/5