Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s high wire act in “The Walk” is mesmerizing (Photo Credit: Sony Pictures).
“The Walk” starring Jordan Gordon-Levitt, based on the true story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, is one of the best films based on a true story to date!
Free from the extra added sensationalism Hollywood tends to add, “The Walk” portrays Petit’s journey from childhood to when he performed an unauthorized high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York on the morning of Aug. 7, 1974, six days before his 25th birthday.
Also referred to as the “le coup” by Petit and his co-conspirators, “The Walk” opens with Gordon-Levitt as Petit narrating his story, (which he does throughout the film) of how he first encountered his fascination with wire walking by sneaking into the circus and being captivated by the tightrope walkers.
He states, “Something in me awakened and I had to learn everything there was to know about wire walking!”
The film progresses with Petit at different ages sneaking into the circus to watch the wire walkers, presumably unnoticed until one day he gets caught by Papa Rudy played by an unrecognizable Ben Kingsley who becomes Petit’s teacher, mentor and father figure.
Attempting to walk the wire on his own, Papa Rudy fusses at Petit to get down before he hurts himself.
Arguing with Papa Rudy, Petit relents and comes down from the wire with Petit pleading his case and convincing Papa Rudy to teach him everything he knows about wire walking.
Gordon-Levitt does an excellent job pulling the audience in as Petit.
The actor speaks fluent French with an impeccable French accent and proper inflection, tone and pronunciation.
He does this so well that filmgoers will forget he’s an actor and will be completely entranced by his role.
There is already Oscar buzz behind the young actor’s role, which is well deserved.
“The Walk,” shown in IMAX 3-D will definitely have audiences on the edge of their seats while watching Petit along with his co-conspirators pull off the daring stunt.
The 3-D experience brings the movie to life as they rig a 450-pound (200-kilogram) cable, a custom-made 26-foot (8-meter) long and a 55-pound (25-kilogram) balancing pole.
The drama unfolds as they risk falling, being caught and being hauled off to jail.
At daybreak, Petit is on the wire performing what has been referred to as the “artistic crime of the century” for 45 minutes, making eight passes along the wire.
The next week, he celebrated his 25th birthday.
All charges were dismissed in exchange for his doing a performance in Central Park for children.
This is one Hollywood got right, from showing how it took Petit six years of planning, during which he learned everything he could about the buildings and their construction to finally accomplishing the performance he was born to do.
“The Walk” also shows Petit perform his first such walk between the towers of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, while priests were simultaneously being ordained inside the building and reference the wire walk he did in Sydney with a wire rigged between the two north pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Aside from showing how a young man without any fear achieves the feat of a lifetime, “The Walk” is very inspiring with a take away message that nothing is impossible when you have the heart and determination to succeed against all odds.
But most importantly it’s your destiny!