Director Robert Zemeckis (FLIGHT) believes in suspending the audience. In his 2012 film FLIGHT the opening scenes introduced an alcoholic pilot who miraculously saved a plane full of people from dying in a fiery crash, despite having downed a coke and vodka cocktail. In his latest film THE WALK the daredevil director partners with Joseph Gordon-Levitt to bring to life the true story of Philippe Petit, an insane thrill-seeker who decided no idea was better than walking a tightrope between the World Trade Towers in the 1970s. I’ll mention again that Petit was a nut, but nuts always make for good storytellers.
To go along with Zemeckis’s film, Petit has re-released his own account of the story in a book version of THE WALK. In it he brings together pictures from his own experience planning and executing the daring journey between the two buildings and images of the actors from the film. He discusses his reasoning for doing it, his deep love of acrobatics, and the training he underwent to complete his goal. Most importantly he talks about the people who did not believe in him and how he had to push those naysayers aside to focus on his success. THE WALK actually acts as a rather convincing motivational book when it is not trying to be pretentiously artsy.
Told in journal entry format, THE WALK is a personal invitation into the mind of a man with a singular focus. He was going to stop at nothing, even the loss of his family and friends, to achieve his dream walk. At times in the reading it felt like he was bringing us behind the scenes into his own world, even though it feels as if the journal was never meant to be read by anyone. THE WALK is a solid companion to the new film and the “Academy Award” winning documentary MAN ON WIRE.
THE WALK is in theaters tomorrow, October 9th.