In Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, the whimsy, and magic of triumphing over the impossible is brought to the big screen through the fantastical true life story of high-wire walker Pierre Petit, who on August 7, 1974 strung a high-wire between New York City’s Twin Towers, and walked between them in a feat that truly stunned the world.
3. The Whimsy Of Robert Zemeckis
The dreamlike subject matter of The Walk is far and away a perfect choice for its director, Robert Zemeckis, a cinema auteur who is known for crafting brilliantly fantastical stories that feature eclectic, non-traditional characters, and here both story and director meld perfectly. While some directors might wish to create a literal biopic, Zemeckis plays up the whimsy of Pierre Petit, and his amazing performance, which results in a truly magical film experience.
2. The Twin Towers – A Grand Stage
Zemeckis’s subject matter calls to New York’s Twin Towers when they were still under construction, and Petit’s grand scheme to get inside them, and become at one between them over the streets of the city. With his team by his side Petit becomes somewhat of a spy as he utilizes all manner of surveillance methods to learn everything he can about the towers, and how he can best utilize them for his performance. When he finally does manage to get to the top it offers audiences both amazing sights, but also a real sense of vertigo. With Zemeckis’ guidance, the Towers truly come alive with the hustle and bustle of 1970s New Tork around them, all of which makes for a compelling snapshot of a time and place in history that allows the audience to feel as if their right there watching Petit step out on the wire for the first time.
1. The Wire Walker
Central to the success of The Walk is lead actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt who channels the daredevil will to perform on the grandest stage of all as Pierre Petit. Levitt portrays Petit as an acrobatic dreamer who becomes obsessed with the idea of performing for a crowd in New York City between the empty space of the Twin Towers, and will stop at nothing until he completes his ‘artistic coup of the century’. His enthusiasm is at times maddening, but in the pursuit of greater glory what can one expect. Levitt is completely comfortable in the shoes of Petit, and his commitment to the character is guaranteed to inspire audiences everywhere.
Image source: Sony Pictures.