Release Date: October 9, 2015
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Browne
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Guillaume Baillargeon, Emilie Leclerc, Mark Trafford, Inka Malovic, Lucas Ramaciere, Martin Lefebvre, Philippe Bertrand, Laurence Deschenes, Patricia Tulasne, Jean-Robert Bourdage, Sylvie Lemay, Sasha Dominique, Soleyman Pierini, Jade Kindar-Martin, Patrick Baby, Ben Kingsley, Marie Turgeon, Charlotte Le Bon, Catherine Lemieux
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 123 minutes
Production Company: ImageMovers, Mel's Cite du Cinema (sound stages), Sony Pictures Entertainment, TriStar Productions
Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama
Budget: $35,000,000 (estimated)
As I’m sure millions, if not billions, have already asked, why in the world would anyone risk their life walking on a high wire? Everyone including me has asked this question. But from the movie, not only will this question be answered, you’ll get much more. Respect goes to director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Flight) for he surely knows how to create drama. The Walk is another example of why you go to the movies. This movie was not shot for a 70mm screen; the IMAX and 3D aspects of it are its highlights. I was blown away by the visuals on high. This movie is amazing for its death-defying stunts, for choosing the best acting talent in the business, and enough heart that makes you want to fly. The movie is an inspiration to make one reach for the stars.
I’ve always been a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He’s been one of my favorites for a while, especially since his directorial debut in 2012 with Don Jon. His performance in The Walk as Philippe Petit sky rockets him to an entirely different realm of talent. I mean, my goodness! I was blown away by his acting and passion for the role. He more than did his job at portraying the character of a daring hire-wire artist. I’ve never been to France before, but his accent was believable. I wanted to know why this stunt was done and Levitt told me as Petit. I was beyond convinced: nothing but God could stand in the way of Petit’s dream. Witnessing Levitt’s portrayal of Petit’s passion alone, you would have no choice but to respect his goal and cheer him along the way. Let’s not forget about Ben Kingsley’s role as Papa Rudy. He was the driving force that helped mold Petit into the artist he became. In a story of the master and the apprentice, Rudy played the master. Kingsley was able to portray the emotions behind the whole situation. He behaved like the father figure for Petit during his attempt to walk between the Twin Towers. The joy and sadness Kingsley expressed on screen shows how strong their relationship was.
If you’re cannot see this movie in IMAX 3D, I recommend you don’t see it at all. The technical breakthrough in this movie is the character itself. On more than one occasion, I literally dodged in my seat, as an object flew towards the screen. Soon after, laughing at the realization that I was tricked, I enjoyed every moment. The high-wire act looks so spectacular that you feel as if you’re out there, too. The imagery is beautiful, making you feel like you’re on the clouds (might as well be up there). The perspective he had on the world is worth the price of admission alone.
What’s even more interesting is the science behind this event. I knew it was more complicated than just tying a string on both ends; the amount of detail covered was very engaging. The technical merits didn’t just appear towards the end. They started at the beginning, flowing smoothly with the characters. As we got to know Petit and what made him tick, the audience slowly but surely learns the mechanics of wire working. It was a nice balance between the two which made the last act more meaningful. Tension was, of course, created towards the end, but surprisingly present in the middle as well.
I loved this film; I can’t wait to see it again. My expectations were high and I wasn’t let down in any way. Robert Zemeckis is now one of my favorite directors, for he never misses a beat. His combination of skills with the acting talent is a recipe for sure success. This entire film is a true masterpiece and gives a compelling reason to go to the theatre. In the end, there isn’t much left to say other than I was blown away.