There are not many movies that will make you feel emotional even before its actual screening. Maybe it happens because of its plot, or perhaps, the World Trade Center that no longer exists. But whatever those feelings are, they will stay with you until The Walk ends. And when It ends, you will simply cry for many reasons: one of them is because of the beauty of the film, its magical look, superbly written screenplay, and the performance. But the strongest quality of Robert Zemeckis’ film is that it’s capable to walk into your mind and stay right there. Not to mention that it will make you feel proud and strongly appreciative of Philippe Petit. Because if not for his incredible walk on wire between the Two Towers in 1974, this movie would never exist.
The Walk begins with Philippe Petit, who artistically begins telling his story of his journey from the beginning. And that beginning takes us to Paris, where his dream to become a wire walker started at the age of eight. Knowing that he does not have enough knowledge in strengthening the wires, he asks for Rudy’s help (Ben Kingsley) who teaches him the important techniques that allow him to pursue his dream. Shortly after, he recruits a team that will help him realize his dream: to walk the immense void between the World Trade Center Towers. And by the time he reaches to the point when he is about to step on the wire, you better start holding your breath, because the next 15 minutes of his walk, you won’t be able to think, to breathe, or see anything else, but terrifyingly beautiful look of New York, Philippe Petit, the sky, and the Twin Towers that will make you miss it endlessly.
Philippe Petit, who is a high-wire artist, dreams big and continues being persistent to achieve the most impossible mission. Before he travels to New York to expedite the construction and study the unfinished Twin Towers, he attempts another illegal walk on wire between the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Even during that scene, before or afterwards, the movie will keep holding you tight and won’t let go till the end. The scenes of preparation are impossible to handle. Even though you may have heard that in real life there were no accidents that happened during Petit’s walk, that still won’t stop you from pulling yourself together and handle the pressure or your nerves throughout the film. Because whatever you knew or heard about 1974 will stay outside of the theater as you will be left alone to relive, to experience everything all over again as you were nowhere, but in 1974.
The Walk would not have been so great, stunning and one of the best biopic films ever if not for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Let’s be clear here, I am not a huge fan of Gordon-Levitt and usually skip any movie he appears in. But the performance he delivered in this film will be a trademark, and will define his career from this moment on. With his talent and abilities, he proved not only me wrong, but many others who thought he is an overrated actor. He nailed every scene, brought back Petit’s experience, and will make you experience the same. And this is what I call, “transforming yourself into the skin of the character you portray, and disappear into it without using a heavy make up.”
The scene when everything was over, Annie (Charlotte Le Bon) will speak to Phillipe words that will leave you in tears, and what she says is, “The Twin Towers no longer look the same, because you walked between them. You brought them back. You gave them the soul.” Yes, indeed, The Towers could not have better tribute than this. And in the end, you will regret that you got your breath back from the insanely, emotionally packed, and absolutely majestic scene. And how could anyone blame you for that, if it was simply breathtaking?