Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Walk (5 Stars)

When I saw this film advertised I thought I knew what to expect: not much of a story, but spectacular visual scenes that would make the film worth seeing. I was half right. Yes, the visual scenes are spectacular, but the story itself is just as amazing. Right from the opening minutes I was fascinated by the charm and personality of Philippe Petit, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Leaning against the Statue of Liberty he narrated the story of what he called the Coup of the Century in a series of flashbacks.

If anything, I'd say that the story leading up to the walk itself, which took place on August 7th 1974, was the most fascinating part of the film. It's a story of courage and determination. It's a tale of someone who has a dream and won't give it up, whatever the difficulties. The walk itself was illegal, so the whole story has the feeling of a bank robbery. We see shady characters meeting in secret, forging plans, hiding from the law.

The act of walking on a wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center was crazy, utterly crazy. Only a madman would do it. But this madman became famous for his madness.

From what I've read, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's dedication to the project was phenomenal. He took lessons in tightrope walking from Philippe Petit himself, who is now 66. He did use a stunt double in some scenes, but he became proficient enough to appear in many of the scenes unaided.

This is a spectacular film, and it'll be a must-have for my Blu-ray collection.

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