Director: Robert Zemeckis
Screenplay: Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Browne
Starring: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon
Genre(s): Adventure, Biography, Drama, Thriller
Runtime: 123 min
The Walk is a true story about a wire walker named Phillipe Petit (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who convinces himself that he can achieve the impossible; walk across the 140 feet between the Twin towers of New York in 1974 with no safety apparatus whatsoever. An incredibly perilous act and also illegal, which he only undertakes with the support of his accomplices and his love, Annie (Charlotte Le Bon).
Joseph Gordon Levitt carries the film quite ably with a great performance that we have come to expect from him having started in films like 500 days of Summer, Inception, Lincoln and Premium Rush. He accomplishes a believable French accent and the French supporting actors put in a great performance as well.
The film chronicles his life and how he arrived at the twin towers. It beautifully details how he found his passion at a circus, and his difficult relationship with his mentor Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley),that is easily reminiscent of a father and son in moments during the film. However, despite the beautiful picture constructed by Robert Zemeckis, there is something hiding under the carpet.
The film isn’t telling a story that hasn’t been told before, and from the outset it is in a dogfight with the 2008 Oscar for Best Documentary winner Man on Wire, and in telling the story of Phillipe Petit, sadly the film loses out, though no fault of its own.
The director was forced to deliver the audience a film, and as such had to omit certain details and character traits about the main character to perhaps please the audience, romanticize Petit into a lovable hero. This I do not blame the director for; this is a hallmark of the film industry. However in so doing all the supporting characters lose their voice, and to some extent outside the performance of Ben Kingsley, Levitt occupies the screen by himself.
This I do not blame the director for; this is a hallmark of the film industry. However, in so doing all the supporting characters lose their voice, and to some extent outside the performance of Ben Kingsley, Levitt occupies the screen by himself.
Despite this, the film is very well done and the cast does a magnificent job.
The special effects are exquisitely created by the director as is his mark, and it will not disappoint. If you should take a step onto the wire to watch it, I can promise a fall is not awaiting you.
By Maithya Kioko