The Walk (2015)
written by Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Browne, based on the Philippe Petit book “To Reach the Clouds”
directed by Robert Zemeckis
running time 123 minutes
This film is prospectively engaging on so many levels and from several aspects: it ventures where only one man has gone before and with a feat that can’t be duplicated. The fear of heights is really fundamental and the climactic setting of this story is familiar to everyone because of the ultimate fate of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
When I first saw the poster for this movie in the theatre lobby I immediately knew what it was about. For the purposes of this story 2008″s “Man on the Wire” is a tough act to follow. That film won a plethora of international awards and a best Best Documentary Oscar. Excuse me for having thus far left out the premise of the movie. In 1974 high wire artist Philippe Petit engages a team of people to aid him in walking over the immense void between the World Trade Centre Towers. Each tower was over 1350 feet high( the North Tower was 1368 feet in height) To put that in perspective there are 5280 feet in a mile. We are talking about a distance of a quarter of a mile downwards. The span between the towers was 200 feet. So…
The narrative account of Petit’s feat was presented outstandingly by the documentary film with much actual footage and stills. On this occasion I really encourage everyone to take a second look at it. “The Walk” is going to present the story cinematically and I can’t imagine a better director for the project than Robert Zemeckis. He has been a Special Effects artist/wizard since his early days with the Back to the Future films, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and Death Becomes Her with which he garnered at least three Effects Oscars. With Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and 2012’s Flight he has shown that he can make films with substance. There is opportunity for rumination in “The Walk”- when asked why he did it Petit is quoted as saying :”There is no why…”.
Besides directing., Zemeckis also co-produced the film and co-wrote the screenplay.
Joseph Gordon_Levitt as Petit is a characterization I’m looking forward to. With his appearances in Christopher Nolan’s mind- bending “Inception”. subsequently in “50/50” and “Looper” to his turn as Robert Lincoln in Spielberg’s film he always exudes an air of quiet intensity which has to be just right for the role.
On our flat-screen, conventional projector presentation we have all watched the original “Jurassic Park” and “Titanic” without all the technical wonders (3-D and iMax) at hand today so ‘The Walk” will be an enjoyable evening.