By Darren Chan Keng Leong (Singapore)
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I have one word for this film and the word is phenomenal. Personally, I like films that are based on a true story and this is one film that I will definitely recommend. The Walk is directed by critically acclaimed Director Robert Zemeckis who is the director of many well-known movies such as Forrest Gump, Cast Away and Flight. Also, he chose the right cast with big names such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ben Kingsley; this looks set to draw the crowd in.

The film itself is a biopic of French tight-rope artist Philippe Petit’s amazing feat of tight-roping across the twin towers of The World Trade Center in 1974 on August 7th, the day when the towers were completed. Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays Philippe Petit and narrates most part of the film as it is more of a recount of his life leading up to the spectacular feat. I must say after watching the film, I have a new-found respect for tight-rope walkers and also people in the entertainment industry as there is a lot of hard work and determination to not give up in the face of failures.

The film starts off with Philippe Petit trying to make a decent living from being a street performer on the streets of Paris which involves juggling and tight-rope walking. Along the way, he is kicked out of his house by his father as he disagrees with Philippe that a street performer is not a decent job and he is wasting his life away. Undeterred, Philippe comes across a newspaper photograph of The World Trade Center and sets his sight on tight-rope walking across the two towers, a feat that is deemed impossible and crazy by many people that he tells his dream to.

The chemistry between Philippe Petit’s character as portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Papa Rudy’s character as portrayed by Ben Kingsley is touching and heart-warming as it shows the bond between a father and son through their facial expressions and actions. I would have liked to see some flashbacks of Papa Rudy’s past as a circus performer as it would have added weight to the film in giving the audience more background of the character and role of a performer.

It is ingenious that Philippe recruits a team of strangers who with skills of their own help him to pull off his dream of walking across the twin towers of The World Trade Center. The CGI effect was beautifully done as the audience were sitting at the edge of their seat, just watching Philippe cross the towers six times before getting arrested by the police. The soundtrack that accompanied the film complimented the scenes very well as it brought out the emotions of the characters which I liked.

The film has many themes of hope and dreams which I felt made it a success as it is something very sincere and human that attracts people to watch a film. Even though Philippe was successful and accomplished his dream, the end of the film where Annie, a fellow busker and crew that helped him realise his dream leaves to find her own, it also implies that we are called to find our own way by observing others and to always dare to dream, even though it might sound impossible at first. Every dream does begin with a single step which then adds on to every step and I felt the film being a very clear reflection of life which makes it even more meaningful and a joy to watch.

The wire walk scene was the highlight of the film as it was adrenaline pumping and heart stopping moment to watch Philippe accomplished this death defying stunt. Joseph Gordon-Levitt fits the role of the character very well as it can be seen through his facial expression and it changes through the film’s sequences.

The last part of the film was a poignant nod and dedication to the victims of the 9/11 attacks which was a nice ending scene as the expiry date on the pass for Philippe which was given by the building manager was changed to “forever” and that the victims of the attacks will forever be remembered for their bravery and courage. The Walk will be one of the films that I will gladly watch again and have a special place in the history of movies.

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