Set in the mid-seventies, The Walk is one of those movies that just has to be made. It revolves around the life of Philippe Petite – the world-famous tightrope walker. As a street performer on the rues of Paris, his mission in life was to be popular and have a mass audience watch him perform.
He pulls of the death-defying stunt of walking across the two columns of the Notre Dame de Paris, and from there, aims to walk across the World Trade Centre towers in New York on a tightrope. The movie circles around his quest to gather a team to pull off the illegal stunt with him, and then actually do it.
The thing about The Walk was that it was a fantastic idea for a movie, (of course it was, the story of Philippe Petite was a worldwide sensation across the globe in the mid-seventies) but there was a lot that could have been differently, creatively.
The movie was essentially a Disney movie, made to appeal mass audience. It was too happy, as it were. And though the visuals were all there, Petite balancing on a tightrope flung between the World Trade Towers, it still felt – empty. As though we know he is not going to fall.
The one thing that could be said with certainty is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a gifted actor and is well on his Academy Award path, he is not a skilled master of the French accent.
By Pavan Premaney