The year is 1974. Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is 1,350 feet above ground. Besides the wire extending between the Twin Towers, nothing stands between him and the streets of New York below.
But let’s start from the beginning.
“The Walk” (2015) observes eight-year-old Petit and his journey from a boy walking wires five feet off the ground to the man driven to walk the 138-foot gap between the Twin Towers in New York — an unauthorized feat.
Like all crazy plans, there are many hurdles to overcome. The first was to find a team of people crazy enough to help Petit prep for his walk. The second was to find a way to set up all the equipment. Finally, actually walking the distance without any safety to prevent him from falling.
His team, consisting of his girlfriend, Annie Allix (Charlotte Le Bon), and mentor, Rudy Omankowsky, Jr. (Ben Kingsley), and many others work against time to have this all done. Of course, this doesn’t happen without a few bumps in the road including a nail to the foot, teammates ironic fear of of heights and, ultimately, the fear of failure.
Although based on a true story (in which you might know the outcome), the film does an incredible job of arousing concern for the safety of Petit and his team. The intensity throughout actively evokes the same excitement I can only imagine the actual event brought. There were many times during this movie I had to close my eyes and remind myself of the stable ground I was on. (Strapping myself to imaginary ropes to keep from fallin down helped, too.)
And when it comes to the walk, you feel like you are with him — alone with only the sky and the birds.
Petit is a man who let nothing stop him from chasing his dream. SPOILER ALERT. In reality, he was on that wire for an entire 45 minutes, walking across eight times before the police finally caught up with him.
If you are a thrill seeker, “The Walk” is a must see. It is well-worth paying extra to see it in 3D or IMAX, if you can. If you are a person who likes to stay closer to the ground, stick to 2D and try not to let the height get to you.
Linnea Glas is a freshman film production major. This review reflects the opinion of the author only.